July 3, 2005

France’s Chirac G8 heading toward climate deal

SVETLOGORSK, Russia (Reuters) - The Group of Eight (G8)industrialized states are on course to reach a deal on globalwarming at their summit next week, French President JacquesChirac said on Sunday.

"We have had some difficult discussions and it looks likewe are heading toward an agreement," Chirac said at a jointnews briefing with Russian President Vladimir Putin and GermanChancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

France had needed to "take a very firm position" so that"this agreement could be reached," Chirac said.

Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, the summit's host,said last week he had been having tough negotiations with theUnited States, the world's biggest polluter.

Washington has refused to ratify the co-called KyotoProtocol on carbon dioxide emissions and the greenhouse effect.The summit, in Gleneagles, Scotland, runs from July 6-8.