Blair:Climate Change & Undiluted, Unembarrassed Ubiquity



    Mr Blair with Japanese PM

    Comment at end

    14th March, 2008



    About a week ago I mentioned here that Mr Blair was being noticed by his absence in the climate debate that seems to have slipped into the background since his departure.

    “I also understand that he is attending the G2o in Japan at the end of this week on Climate Change. So if it’s a no-no for the Big EU job, look out for a newly created World Climate Czar post for Mr Blair, as suggested here a year and a half ago. Have you noticed it’s all gone terribly quiet on the climate issue?”

    Right on cue, and purely co-incidentally, the announcement has been made that he is leading/co-ordinating/facilitating – call it what you will – an international initiative, ‘Breaking the Climate Deadlock’.

    For those who criticise Mr Blair’s continuing facility to take on yet another task, ask yourselves this:

    Who ELSE has been making the right noises on this hugely important issue since he left office? Who else in the world? Putting aside that individual countries and governments have been making their political agendas and ambitions known to their electorate, who else speaks with an authoritative voice on this international issue? And who else in recent years put voice to the world’s duties and requirement to put the climate at the forefront of our thoughts and actions?

    That’s right – no-one. On the need and means by which to co-ordinate international action, it’s been amazingly universally quiet since Mr Blair’s departure.

    True leadership doesn’t shrink from the critics. Tony Blair will not fix the climate all on his little ownsome any more than he will fix the Middle East. So if he seems to have a finger in every pie and an angle on every problem, thank him.

    In years to come, he and we, since it was in Britain that he cut his political teeth, might be prouder than we now appreciate that he was willing to get right in there wherever the need was greatest, and help bang a few heads together.

    Thank God somebody is!


    Arriving for talks in Japan today, Mr Blair said there was a “consensus” that a deal had to be reached – with a 50% cut in carbon emissions needed by 2050.

    During his visit to Tokyo Mr Blair will meet climate change experts from China, Japan, Europe and the US.

    Video: Steve Howard, CEO of the Climate Group Welcomes This Initiative

    Steve Howard, the CEO of the Climate Group welcomes Tony Blair’s involvement in the ‘Breaking Climate Deadlock’ project, in which Mr Blair will work with government and business leaders to advance climate change solutions and accelerate a low carbon economy try to devise the framework capable of getting the developed world, including of course the USA, and the developing world, including China and India into a comprehensive deal to tackle climate change.

    Announcement as at the official Tony Blair website:

    Tony Blair arrived in Tokyo today as part of the ‘Breaking The Climate Deadlock’ initiative which will take him to Japan, China and India in the next seven days for talks with leading business and political figures.

    The project is being conducted by The Climate Group, an independent, not-for-profit organisation that works internationally with government and business leaders to advance climate change solutions and accelerate a low carbon economy. They have convened, at the instigation of Tony Blair, a set of experts, to try to devise the framework capable of getting the developed world, including of course the USA, and the developing world, including China and India into a comprehensive deal to tackle climate change.

    Tony Blair will lead this work and guide it politically, making sure that the technical work is given the right political direction.

    Specifically, the deadlock in the title refers to the governmental deadlock in achieving a comprehensive long-term international agreement on how to deal with global climate change, both how we should prevent further build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and how measures to reduce vulnerability and enhance adaptation to inevitable climate change should be implemented and funded.

    Speaking to to launch the project, he said: “There is a consensus now right across the world that we need a new global deal and at the heart of it there has got to be a substantial cut in emissions.

    “The difficult thing is: what type of deal? That’s the work that I’m working on with a group of experts that have been convened by The Climate Group, which is a business body here in the UK but also across the water in the Atlantic, and what we are looking at specifically is: what is the global deal that makes the difference?

    “So the work that we are doing will look specifically at: what is the nature and what are the principles that underpin that new global deal.

    “Secondly, what is the best way of developing and then transferring the science and technology necessary to cut greenhouse gas emissions substantially by the amount they really need to be cut?

    “Thirdly, how do we make sure we finance, create the finance flows, that are going to be necessary in order to make this work?

    “Now we believe that there is a huge economic opportunity: for countries, for business, for people in taking action on climate change.

    “But it won’t be maximised unless there is that true global deal, one with everybody in it, one that has in its heart a substantial cut in emissions and that most crucially has the means of doing it.

    “That’s what we will be working on now and in the months to come.”

    Tony Blair was a leading advocate on the need to take the challenge of climate change seriously during his time as British Prime Minister. His Presidency of the G8 and EU Council of Ministers in 2005 focussed in large part on his goal of moving the international debate forward. He established the Gleneagles dialogue and commissioned the Stern Review. He promoted domestic legislation to set effective emissions cuts and ensure that the UK met its Kyoto targets and continued to have economic growth.

    Read Tony Blair’s speech to launch Breaking Climate Deadlock

    Steve Howard, of the Climate Group, welcomes Mr Blair’s new role

    BBC report

    Watch Sir Nicholas Stern’s Report as instigated by Tony Blair

    Who said of Blair in June 2007?

    “He went down all guns blazing!”

    And of the others – “farcical”?

    Click here and scroll to end.

    As for the title of this post – Undiluted, Unembarrassed Ubiquity – is it all about Blair?

    No. It’s about U,




    and U







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    One Response to “Blair:Climate Change & Undiluted, Unembarrassed Ubiquity”

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