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Last updated: 8:58 PM

From Press Association


PM hails G8 climate change step

Press Association
Thursday June 7, 2007 4:18 PM

Prime Minister Tony Blair has hailed a G8 deal on climate change as "a major, major step forward".

At his last summit before leaving No 10, Mr Blair said the agreement for a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions - with a view to halving them by 2050 - would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.

Leaders of the G8 nations - the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan - agreed at their summit in the German coastal town of Heiligendamm that harmful greenhouse gas emissions should stop rising "followed by substantial global emissions reductions".

And the leaders said there should be a "global goal for emissions reductions" and in setting that figure they would "consider seriously" the decisions made by EU countries.

Mr Blair told reporters there is now agreement. "The important thing is we now have an agreement - one; that we need a new worldwide agreement on climate change," he said.

"Two; that at the heart of that should be a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

"Three; in the process that will then work out what that cut in emissions should be there will be serious consideration given specifically to the goal of halving emissions by 2050.

"This is an agreement in which we want all the major countries to be involved including America, China, India and others - the developed and the developing world."

The Prime Minister, speaking after bilateral talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, continued: "The possibility is here, therefore, for the first time to get a global deal on climate change with substantial cuts in emissions with everyone in the deal - which is the only way we are going to get the deal we need.

"This is a major, major step forward. There's now the recognition that we do need a global deal with everyone in it."

© Copyright Press Association Ltd 2007, All Rights Reserved.

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