Blair reflects on ‘blunt truth’ of climate change

Tony Blair has concluded an international conference on climate change, saying that the world needed to solve the problem ‘on a sustainable basis’.

The meeting took place under the new Gleneagles dialogue that includes the G8 countries as well as China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.

Mr Blair said the evidence of climate change was getting stronger and even those who doubted it accepted there were concerns over energy security and supply.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that the Kyoto protocol had been important. He added that the world needed to combine the need for growth with ‘a proper and responsible attitude’ towards the environment.

“The blunt truth about the politics of climate change is that no country will want to sacrifice its economy in order to meet this challenge.

“But all economies know that the only sensible, long-term way to develop is to do it on a sustainable basis.”

Mr Blair added that solutions would come in part through the private sector in developing the technology and science.

The conference agreed to work together on cleaner, low carbon technologies and looked ahead to further discussions later this month in Montreal.

Speaking earlier in the day, Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson said the meeting underlined the broad consensus needed to tackle climate change, yet maintain economic growth.

“We now need to identify priorities for cooperation, in both the short and long term.

And we need to set a clear context for the private sector to invest in low carbon technologies with signals that are “loud, long and legal”.”

Writing in a newspaper at the weekend, the PM said this was a ‘potentially crucial week’ for climate change.

Source: 10 Downing Street