22 Jan 2009 05:01:04
Tony Blair: Downturn is opportunity for low carbon economy
Tony Blair called on global leaders not to let the financial crisis get in the way of moving towards a low carbon economy and combating climate change.
Speaking at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, the former UK prime minister emphasised the importance of taking steps to reduce emissions as soon as possible.
He said: "It is now, right now, at the instant when our thoughts are centred on the economic challenge that we must not set to one side the challenge of global warming, but instead resolve to meet it and put the world on a path to sustainable growth for the future.
"Now is the moment when our responsibility to future generations must be answered. The decisions of 2009 will determine the world of 2029 or 2049. The way to the future must be opened in the present time."
Like various leaders before him, Mr Blair said the economic downturn should be viewed not as a hindrance but as an opportunity to make the transition to the low carbon economy.
He called for a global agreement, saying that without it the tasks could not be done.
The agreement should set out interim targets, obligations and practical, simple measures to improve energy efficiency.
Mr Blair is also the Quarter Representative to the Middle East and he made reference to Palestine in his address.
His speech came on the eve of the inauguration of President Obama, who has also advocated rapid investment in renewable energy.http://tonyblairoffice.org/2009/01/now-is-the-moment-when...