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World has 7 years for key climate decisions: Blair

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    Fw: [fuelcell-energy] ... World has 7 years for key climate decisions: Blair Tue Feb 7, 2006 7:48 AM ET By Katherine Baldwin LONDON (Reuters) - The world has
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 7, 2006
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      World has 7 years for key climate decisions: Blair
      Tue Feb 7, 2006 7:48 AM ET

      By Katherine Baldwin

      LONDON (Reuters) - The world has seven years to take vital decisions
      and implement measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions or it could
      be too late, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Tuesday.

      Blair said the battle against global warming would only be won if the
      United States, India and China were part of a framework that included
      targets and that succeeded the 1992 Kyoto Protocol climate pact.

      "If we don't get the right agreement internationally for the period
      after which the Kyoto protocol will expire -- that's in 2012 -- if we
      don't do that then I think we are in serious trouble," he told a
      parliamentary committee.

      Asked if the world had seven years to implement measures on climate
      change before the problem reached "tipping point", Blair
      answered: "Yes".

      The European Union, Japan and much of the rest of the industrialized
      world are imposing mandatory cuts on emissions of heat-trapping gases
      from burning fossil fuels under Kyoto.

      U.S. President George W. Bush pulled out of Kyoto in 2001, arguing it
      would hurt the American economy and that developing countries were
      exempted. He favors asking U.S. companies to join a voluntary
      emission reduction program.

      Blair said targets were key to any successor to Kyoto.

      "This can only be done if you have a framework that, in the end, has
      targets within it. If you don't get to that point, the danger is you
      never have the right incentives for the private sector to invest
      heavily in green technology," he said.

      Environment ministers in Montreal in December agreed on a road map to
      extend Kyoto and to hold talks to include the United States and
      developing countries in a future framework.

      Blair said there were the "beginnings" of an international consensus
      and that Bush's comment in his State of the Union speech last week
      that America was "addicted to oil" was a sign of a change of mood but
      he urged Bush to move further.

      "I think there are real signs of change," he said. "I think if you
      could find a way of ensuring the right incentives were given without
      America feeling there was some desire to inhibit its economic growth,
      then I think we can find a way through."

      Blair also said he thought it was unrealistic to hope for an
      international agreement on restricting aviation travel to curb
      pollution and he dismissed the idea of Britain unilaterally or
      bilaterally slapping a tax on commercial flights.

      "I can't see myself that you are going to be able, artificially
      through mechanisms based on the consumer, to interfere with aviation
      travel. I can't see that you would get an international agreement for
      that and I'd worry about a special levy in the UK," he said.



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