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UK Wants G8 to Be G13 with Brazil Included

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is calling for the G8 group of industrialized nations to admit five developing nations to the group in order to tackle climate change and other global issues.

Leaders of the five nations – Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa – will attend part of this weekend’s G8 summit in St Petersburg, Russia.

Blair’s government warned July 13 that climate change could devastate much of Africa, negating any benefits from aid packages agreed at last July’s G8 meeting in Scotland.

Blair says a ‘G13’ would be more effective at negotiating a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change than the considerably larger UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which counts 189 parties.

"There is no way we can deal with climate change unless we get an agreement that binds in the US, China and India," Blair told The Guardian newspaper. "We have got to get an agreement with a binding framework."

"There is no point in thinking [the United States] is going to enter a binding commitment to change the structure of the US economy without China and India being part of the deal."

But according to Saleemul Huq and Camilla Toulmin of the International Institute for Environment and Development, the 13 nations must realize that their efforts to tackle climate change have "been woefully small in relation to the scale of the problem".

"This global issue cannot be left to the leaders of a handful of countries to decide behind closed doors, however powerful or populous they may be," they said in an article published yesterday by OpenDemocracy. "It must involve citizens and civil-society groups from countries around the world."

Saleemul Huq chairs SciDev.Net’s advisory panel on climate change.

SciDev – www.scidev.net

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  • Show Comments (2)

  • Christian

    I still think Mexico has a long way to go but surely enough it’s getting there — too many internal problems at the moment. Let’s not forget how badly some well known G8 nations left Mexico’s rural poor.

  • Judge Dread

    So Tony Blair is again trying to be a À¢€˜mover and a shakerÀ¢€™ on the world stage again, is he? In case anybody doesnÀ¢€™t know it, and TB clearly doesnÀ¢€™t, the G8 is a forum for developed nations, not developing nations. Brazil is a developing nation. This again shows how totally out of touch TB is with the realities of international politics. It would be better if he confined himself to the pledges he made to the British people when he came to office, which as far as I remember were to improve British domestic services. This he has failed to do and, in fact, he has publicly apologised for it.
    However, in stark contrast to his election promises, he rapidly strutted around the world stage nakedly hanging off the coat-tails of George Bush. Blair took my country into two serious conflicts, the first in Afghanistan, and then later into an even more ill-advised war in Iraq. The latter was justified by Blair on the premise of immanent danger to our military assets in Cyprus from WMDÀ¢€™s held by Saddam Hussain. These weapons were never found, and probably never existed, being a fiction invented by the Iraqi leadership to bolster their position amongst other Arab states, and to potentially menace Israel. Despite calls form the British people and members of parliament of all political complexions for a withdrawal of our troops, Blair simply moved the goal posts and found another reason to stay–this time to bring democracy to Iraq. This was George BushÀ¢€™s original justification for the attack, not WMDÀ¢€™s.
    Tony Blair is a failed leader whose credibility both at home and abroad is fast crumbling. Witness the now well publicised À¢€˜microphone conversationÀ¢€™ with Bush at the G8, where Blair comes out as more servant than statesman: Bush didnÀ¢€™t even give him the courtesy of an intelligent reply to most questions. Even over the Lebanon crisis he was slapped down by Bush; and his plan for a international intervention force to go the Israeli-Lebanon border is risible. The Israelis were bogged down there themselves for eighteen years as I remember, and lost over a thousand soldiersÀ¢€”and Hezbollah are still around. Blair needs to understand that if he wants to play the worldÀ¢€™s policeman, itÀ¢€™s a good idea to recruit some more policemen. From what I can see thereÀ¢€™s little stomach for it amongst other nations.
    So, if Tony Blair thinks he can be the saviour of the planet from climate change too, and he clearly thinks he can, heˢ۪s deluding himself. And if anyone imagines that Blair can get Bush to sign up to anything approaching a binding protocol on carbon emissions, they must be dreaming.

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