German Chancellor Angela Merkel called upon all countries to join a binding post-Kyoto settlement on cutting greenhouse gases when she opened the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday.

She said that the two greatest challenges facing the world were climate change and energy security. “We need a binding regime that includes all of those who produce emissions. Of the overall CO2 emissions we [the EU] has 15 per cent. 85 per cent of those emissions come from somewhere else and the share of Europe is going to go down, so it is a global responsibility.”

Merkel warned that “We have a completely new balance of power in the world today. China will pass the two export champions – Germany and the US – in just two years. But those who consider themselves to be the champions of tomorrow cannot be certain they will also be the champions of the day after tomorrow.”