Speaking today (December 8) at COP17 in the South African city of Durban, the minister said he hoped all countries would ‘commit now’ to a comprehensive global legal framework.

But he claimed, while Europe could lead the way but the continent could not do it all on its own.

Mr Huhne said: “Together with the EU, we have clearly stated that we are willing to move to a second Kyoto commitment period, maintaining ambition and environmental integrity.

“But to do that in isolation makes no sense, a second commitment period covering only the EU and two or three other developed countries would control less than 15% of global emissions – some 85% of global emissions would remain uncontrolled.”

However, Christian Aid’s climate talk’s expert, Mohamed Adow, disagreed with Mr Huhne speech.

He said: “The EU can force other countries’ hands by signing up to a second round of Kyoto commitments.

“Once it has agreed to stay with Kyoto, the EU could then say to the other major players here: “Look, we’re doing the right thing to help protect us all from a terrifying future of climate disasters.

“Now it’s your turn – what are you going to do?”

Luke Walsh

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