The United States and Australia have been working in secret for 12 months on an alternative to the Kyoto protocol and will reveal today a joint pact with China, India and South Korea to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The deal, which will be formally announced by the US deputy secretary of state Robert Zoellick in Laos today when the five "partners" hold a press conference, comes a month after Tony Blair struggled at the G8 summit to get George Bush to commit to any action on climate change.
Oliver Letwin, the Conservative environment spokesman, said it was "odd" that the pact had not figured in the Gleneagles discussions but added: "I hope that it means Bush at last accepts the need to move in a sensible direction."
Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth, described Mr Bush's failure to disclose the deal at Gleneagles as "a poke in the eye for Tony Blair".
The wife is always the last to know...