Divisions over climate change threaten to derail next week’s set piece EU-US summit.

The meeting, which will be hosted by George Bush and attended by Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, was seen as an opportunity for Europe and the US to align their positions on climate change before a G8 meeting in June.

That gathering will be chaired by Ms Merkel, who holds the presidencies of the EU and G8 and who is pressing for a deal on the fight against global warming.

However some EU diplomats are now suggesting that a weak declaration on climate change would be worse than no statement at all. Ms Merkel’s economic adviser, Jens Weidmann, reflected the caution over what can be achieved, conceding that it was “asking for a bit too much” to expect the US to be convinced to sign up to binding CO2 emissions targets.

I suppose it really is asking a bit too much from Bush to undertake one credible act on climate before he leaves office.