Blair Outlines Plans to Slash Emissions Over 50 Years

Blair thinks Bush was wrong to pull out of Kyoto Treaty.

Published: 25-Feb-2003

ON, Feb. 24 — Prime Minister Tony Blair laid out ambitious plans today to fight global warming by cutting carbon dioxide emissions in Britain by 60 percent in the next five decades and gently criticized President Bush for failing to do more to combat the damaging effects of greenhouse gases.

Framing the issue of global warming as one of national security, Mr. Blair said the United States was wrong to back out of the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, which sought to minimize noxious carbon dioxide fumes. The Bush administration drew the ire of a number of industrialized nations when it backed out of the treaty, arguing that compliance would cost American businesses too much money.

But today, in clear disagreement with Britain's foreign policy ally, Mr. Blair said economic growth and environmental awareness can coexist.

"Even the Kyoto targets have proved controversial with some countries, notably America," Mr. Blair said at a conference on sustainable development here. "Many see it as a threat to the pursuit of economic growth. I believe this needn't be the case. If we harness new technology, the evidence is mounting that we can achieve a target of 60 percent, and at reasonable cost."

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