Britain will likely miss target for slashing greenhouse-gas emissions

For years, Tony Blair and his Labor Party have waved the climate-change flag, proclaiming danger and pledging to reduce Britain’s greenhouse-gas emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2010. All very inspiring, except for the whole not-actually-doing-it thing. Yesterday, after an 18-month climate-change policy review, Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett announced that the country would likely only make it to 15 to 18 percent. The failure isn’t only ecological, as scientists, opposition parties, and greens denounce Labor for being all talk and no action. Blair — until recently one of the biggest boosters of Kyoto’s mandatory reductions — has been inching toward the Bush administration’s position: calling for a new international agreement that would emphasize technological development over emissions caps when Kyoto expires at the end of 2012. “In attempting to try to bring Bush on board he’s moving so far that we might end up without a coherent framework,” said Mike Childs of Friends of the Earth.