Nicolas Sarkozy takes credit for persuading George Bush to agree to the insertion of the word seriously in the following sentence from the G8 joint communiqué:
"In setting a global goal for emissions reductions in the process we have agreed today involving all major emitters, we will consider seriously the decisions made by the European Union, Canada and Japan which include at least a halving of global emissions by 2050."Angela Merkel reportedly thanked "Nicolas" for his "energy." Presumably it took a great deal of it to persuade George Bush, who had gone into the meeting refusing all quantitative goals, to accept the mention of a number, even if it is a suspiciously round number and projected four decades into the future. So the G8 will consider seriously decisions already taken by the European Union, Canada, and Japan. Which major greenhouse gas emitter and G8 member nation is omitted from this list? Isn't this rather like a drunkard saying that he will consider seriously his own resolution never to take another drink? Well, I suppose George Bush took that pledge seriously, so maybe he'll do as well with this one. A marvel of diplomacy, M. Sarkozy, given what you had to work with, but I don't think your reputation as a statesman is yet assured.