Tony Blair has insisted he could persuade President Bush to agree to a global target for a “substantial cut” in greenhouse gases within a framework sanctioned by the United Nations.

In an interview with the Guardian on the eve of the G8 summit, the British prime minister said both elusive goals were now achievable and that America was “on the move” in its position on climate change.

Blair continued: “I think the announcement by President Bush last week was significant and important, and it is absurd to say otherwise, since it moved things on. On the other hand you then need to flesh out what it means.”

He stressed that any agreement reached between the G8 and the five leading developing countries would have to be sanctioned by the entire United Nations.

Contemplating leaving the summit without a deal, or at least the framework for one, he acknowledged: “Failure is if there is not an agreement that leads to a global deal with substantial reduction in emissions at the heart of it.”

On the eve of his final G8 summit, Mr Blair said he wanted Friday’s final communique to contain a commitment to a 50% cut in carbon emissions by 2050 on 1990 levels.

How likely this will happen is anyone’s guess. Today’s Independent argues that Bush owes Blair a big favour in return for his support of the Iraq war, Guantanamo Bay, his Middle Easter policy and rendition flights all Blair has received in return is a Congressional medal.

Surely, you can be a little more generous than that George..