Azara Blog: Blair allegedly not doing enough for the environment

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Date published: 2005/11/14

The BBC says:

Environmental charity WWF UK has severely criticised the government for what it says is a lack of action on climate change and the environment.

It says the UK has wasted opportunities presented by its presidency of the EU and the G8 group of wealthy nations.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace has dumped coal at Downing Street as a protest at the government's environmental record.

But a Downing Street spokesman said the government had achieved wide consensus in the G8 on tackling greenhouse gases.

A truck bearing the slogan "Blair - Climate Failure" dumped several tonnes of coal across three entrances to Downing Street.

Another, heading for the Whitehall entrance, was stopped by police.

Greenpeace says Mr Blair is "rowing back" on his commitment to the Kyoto Protocol - the international and legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Director Stephen Tindale, a former environment adviser to Labour, said: "So far all he has done is make speeches."

Last year environmental charities applauded the prime minister when he said he would make climate change a priority.

But WWF UK now says he was trying to please environmentally concerned voters more than demonstrating the will to use leadership in tough negotiations.

Last week Mr Blair said the "blunt truth about the politics of climate change" was that no country would want to sacrifice its economy to meet the challenge, although they all knew they must develop on a "sustainable basis".

The charity says he has undermined the most central plank of climate change policy by suggesting binding targets to cut pollution are incompatible with economic success.

Campaigns director Andrew Lee told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "This is exactly the language we hear from George Bush.

Mr Blair was undermining the people "trying to take action on climate change" and "giving succour" to the opponents of the Kyoto treaty, Mr Lee added.

More hot air from the comfortable middle classes. And how much damage to the environment did WWF cause by transporting and then dumping "several tonnes of coal" in London? Probably more than an average car driver does in a month. But of course emissions restrictions should not apply to the ruling elite like the so-called environmentalists but only to the workers of the world. And how stupid can anyone be to believe anything Blair says one way or the other. And needless to say by far and away the best thing Blair, or any politician, can do is just to "make speeches". It is when a politician stops making speeches and starts doing something that things usually go wrong (e.g. Iraq, removal of civil liberties, etc.). The day WWF proves with any credibility that the economy will not be badly impacted by their proposals is the day they might be treated seriously (by those other than their comfortable middle class supporters, who of course will not be badly impacted by any downturn in the economy). Blair (for once) was actually talking some common sense.

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