Blair puts faith in technology to tackle climate change

Blair puts faith in technology to tackle climate change

By staff writers
6 Jul 2009

Tony Blair has today (Monday) published a new report offering "practical solutions to tackle climate change through technology".

The report: Technology for a Low Carbon Future, comes days before President Obama chairs a meeting of the major economies to discuss progress towards a new global climate agreement at Copenhagen later this year.

The report suggests that 70 per cent of the reductions needed by 2020 can be achieved by investing in energy efficiency - lighting, vehicles, buildings and motors - and reducing deforestation.

The report concludes that the strategy that should be adopted at the Major Economies Forum (MEF) and into Copenhagen should be to focus on existing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, along with efforts to halt deforestation, which can deliver major short-term cuts in emissions. It suggests that there should be simultaneous investment in next generation technologies - carbon capture and storage, new approaches to nuclear and solar and emerging biotech based solutions - that will drive down emissions through to the middle of the century.

Launching the report Tony Blair said: "This report shows how major reductions even by 2020 are achievable if we focus action on certain key technologies, deploy policies that have been proven to work and invest now for the development of those future technologies that will take time to mature.

"And these technologies bring economic and social opportunities too. Just as investing in electrification, railways and the internet led to economic growth in the past, investing in clean energy can help reignite the global economy now.

"This report shows that the challenge of combating climate change remains formidable; but it is do-able. This is not mission impossible.

"On the contrary, with the necessary decisions now, there is a credible, practical, realistic as well as radical way to act. We can set the world on a new path to a low carbon future; the Major Economies Forum is able to put in place a framework for a successful global accord in Copenhagen in December."

Tony Blair was the first major head of government to bring climate change to the top of the international political agenda at the Gleneagles G8 summit in 2005. He is now leading the 'Breaking the Climate Deadlock' initiative, a strategic partnership with The Climate Group, through which he is working with world leaders to bring consensus on a new and comprehensive international climate policy framework.

The Climate Group is an independent NGO working internationally with business and government leaders to advance practical policies and technologies necessary to cut global emissions and drive a prosperous low carbon economy.

The report’s main suggestions:

• Major emission reductions achievable by 2020 if action is focused on certain key solutions immediately.

• Fully 70 per cent of the reductions needed by 2020 can be achieved by investing in energy efficiency - lighting, vehicles, buildings and motors - and reducing deforestation, the costs of which are manageable and generate positive returns.

• Seven known policies that are already being successfully implemented in different parts of the world can deliver reductions if they are scaled up.

• We need to invest now in the development of those future technologies that will take time to mature, in particular carbon capture and storage (CCS), large scale solar and new generation nuclear, along with public infrastructure such as smart grids.

• International cooperation spurred by an ambitious agreement in Copenhagen can rapidly bring costs down and accelerate the scaling up of both current and future technologies.

You can read the full report from Tony Blair entitled 'Technology for a Low Carbon Future' here

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