While I don’t know exactly what is being discussed when President Bush and Prime Minister Blair meet, sources indicate that the two items on Blair’s agenda ahead of the G8 Summit are aid to Africa and climate change. Item one has taken the front seat at the moment, but it also seems to be nearing a resolution.
Blair has his work cut out for him on the second one though. Even the “working dinner” failed to bring the two any closer on the issue.
For all his inaction, I think Bush does realize that it would be good to reduce emissions, all other things being equal. And maybe he honestly believes the tradeoffs that may come with reducing emissions will be too great to justify taking action.
So what’s a prime minister to do? If I might be so bold as to offer a one sentence suggestion on strategy (aside from drilling home the point that the choice is not the economy or the environment), it would be to engage Bush on his own terms.
Further instructions for Mr. Blair below the fold.Bush loves to use a measure called “greenhouse gas intensity,” defined as GHG emissions per unit GDP, to measure progress in battling climate change. He’s pledged to reduce the GHG intensity of the US by 18% in the next ten years. But the thing is, GHG intensity declined by 18% during the 1990’s anyway. So use Bush’s yardstick, but call for more improvement.
Bush has also emphasized that “To develop and make available clean and efficient technologies that will help attain these goals has got to be part of our dialogue at the G8.” This is obviously a great start. Maybe Blair could even point him in the direction of this post at Alternative Energy Blog to steer him away from nuclear.