France and Britain pledge to cut global warming

18th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Nov 18 (AFP) - The leaders of France and Britain pledged Thursday to make reducing global warming a priority when London presides over the Group of Eight nations and the European Union next year.

LONDON, Nov 18 (AFP) - The leaders of France and Britain pledged Thursday to make reducing global warming a priority when London presides over the Group of Eight nations and the European Union next year.

"Climate change is the world's greatest environmental challenge," British Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac said in a joint declaration issued after talks in London.

"We remain determined to show leadership" on the issue, they said, offering warm support to Russia for having ratified the Kyoto protocol on reducing greenhouse emissions.

"We are both on course to meet our Kyoto targets, but we agree that we need to go much further and have set out national plans to enable us to do so," they said.

The leaders also said they would work toward helping the European Union - to be headed by Britain in the second half of 2005 - develop a "medium- and long-term strategy to tackle climate change".

Both governments want the EU to promote "eco-efficient innovations" that would help to reduce global warming while serving as a "driving force for innovation and growth" in European economies, they said.

"By 2010 we would like the EU to achieve the same level of green public procurement as that currently achieved by the best member states," the declaration read.

Chirac was in Britain for an annual summit with the British prime minister and the final celebrations of the centenary of the countries' Entente Cordiale alliance.

He was accompanied by six ministers including Environment Minister Serge Lepeltier.

Blair has said that Britain's leadership both of the G8 group of the world's richest nations and the 25-member European Union would make climate change, alongside the Middle East peace process, a priority.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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