Blair sees 'Tremendous Opportunity' for Post-Kyoto Climate Deal

Prime Minister Tony Blair has declared that there is a "tremendous opportunity" for action to be taken to combat climate change. The statement follows a meeting between the British Prime Minister and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

|PIC1|Blair said that G8 leaders now had the chance to create a fresh framework once the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. In particular, he said that the upcoming few months were extremely important if a deal was to be confirmed at the G8 summit in Heiligendamm in June 2007.

Germany is currently hosting the G8 presidency, and according to Merkel, the nation sees climate change as one of humanity's greatest challenges.

Mr Blair, who only has a few months left in office, said that this immediate time was "absolutely crucial" for various issues such as climate change and the Middle East peace process. In particular, he explained that Britain and Germany were "very much on the same lines" when it came to these key concerns.

Bringing hope to green activists across the country, Mr Blair said he had found widespread agreement on the threats of climate change and seen a great demand from the people across the world for their respective governments to take action.

He said, "This is the right moment to look at how we protect our environment and grow sustainably, but also make sure we have got secure supplies of energy in the years go to come."

He added that it was vital that any post-2012 initiative was supported fully by the US, China and India in addition to those already signed up to Kyoto.

Details of a new climate change deal will be worked out during a May conference, and will later be put forward to the G8 leaders in the summer, Merkel said.

The German Chancellor said, "We think this is one of the great challenges that mankind faces in our time and one of the great challenges that mankind can do most on if it acts together and in concert."