Tony Blair’s script for his last few months in office is becoming clearer. He is planning to use the G8 summit in July as a last hurrah. In the ideal world, he will leave office as a hero – having persuaded the United States to sign up to a new accord on global warming.
A global-warming deal would be sweet for Blair for a number of reasons. First, it would win him back credit with all the lefties who have despised him ever since the Iraq war. Second, it would demonstrate that he does indeed have clout with the United States. All the critics who have derided Blair as a deluded poodle, who has got nothing for his fealty to George Bush, would have to eat their words. Tony has delivered the Americans and saved the planet. Thank you and goodnight.
Blair is obviously too cautious to put it quite like that. But he is definitely sounding hopeful. In an interview this week, he insisted that there has been a "change of mood on climate change" in the United States.
There is some evidence for this. There are numerous bills on climate change pending before Congress. And even the Bush administration is going on the offensive, to persuade the world that it does take the issue seriously.