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January 26, 2005 12:00 AM

Industrial chimney pollution (smoke).Chris Davies MEP has lambasted Tony Blair's posturing as a world leader on climate change. The Leader of the British Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament says that due to a government blunder Britain has been excluded from one of the most important EU initiatives against global warming.

Since January 1, the European Commission has suspended the UK from its "emissions trading scheme", an initiative designed to cut production of Europe's global warming gases. The suspension comes after the government committed itself to emissions cuts it later found it was not prepared to meet.

Mr Davies said,

"This is a huge embarrassment for the Prime Minister. On the day he tells the world he is a crusader against climate change, his own country is excluded from the European Union's most important instrument for tackling global warming."

"If he is to stand up to US intransigence on Kyoto, he must do it from the moral high ground. This blunder makes a mockery of British leadership on climate change."