One can only be highly skeptical about the news that Tony Blair is to lead a new international team to try to tackle the intractable problem of a deal on climate change which has the backing of both China and America.

The former British prime minister believes he can help prepare a blueprint for an agreement to cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2050, and has the backing of the White House, the UN and Europe.

“This is extremely urgent” says Blair. “A 50% cut by 2050 has to be a central component of this. We have to try this year to get that agreed, because the moment you do agree that, then you have something for everyone to focus upon. We need a true and proper global deal, and that needs to include America and China,”

Back in the real world, EU leaders have opposed a deal that would have reduced taxes on energy efficient goods, and are struggling to agree to a timetable to slash greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020.

Meanwhile the Queen opens the new Terminal Five at London’s Heathrow that will increase the capacity of the airport by thousands. Later this month, the new deal on transatlantic air travel will unleash a glut of cheap tickets for travellers with 7,000 more seats a week available on flights between London and New York.

The government is now colluding with the airline industry to build a third runway at the airport.