Blair Must Challenge Bush Over Climate Treaty

October 29, 2001

Tony Blair must use his influence with President Bush to persuade the United States to back the Kyoto climate protocol, Friends of the Earth said today. The call comes as representatives of Governments from across the world meet in Marrakech, Morocco (Monday 29 October - Friday 9 November) to build on their agreement to ratify the climate treaty in Bonn in July.

The US administration's decision to undermine the Kyoto Protocol at the last climate change negotiations was met with anger and dismay across the world. The move was a serious blow to international efforts to combat climate change, but it failed to prevent the rest of the world from agreeing to back the protocol.

Since the terrorist attacks on the US on 11 September, the international situation has dramatically changed, with the world showing its solidarity with the people of America.

Tony Juniper, Director Designate of Friends of the Earth England, Wales, Northern Ireland, said:

"The world has shown its solidarity with the people of the United States after the appalling crimes of September 11. Tony Blair must now use his influence with President Bush to persuade him to show his solidarity with the rest of the world by tackling climate change, one of the biggest threats the planet faces."

Jon Sohn, Climate Campaigner for FoE-US added:

"International co-operation to protect global security and the environment is now more important than ever. Our allies should urge President Bush to reverse his decision to unilaterally abandon the Kyoto Protocol."

Marrakech is hosting the 7th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP7) where the legal text on the outstanding technical aspects of the political agreement reached in Bonn will be finalised.

FoE campaigners are available for comment at the Climate meeting in Marrakech and in London. A media briefing on the talks is available on request or at http://www.foe.co.uk and http://www.foe.org.au .