Blair Urges Obama To Lead On Global Warming
by Alan Harten
March 4, 2009
Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, today urged America to show itself as a world leader on global warming, and not delay in acting because of the financial crisis.
He was speaking at an assembly of top businessmen and politicians at the US Congress, saying the world will expect the USA to set the pace prior to December’s climate talks in Copenhagen.
America has a vital role on this as well as other issues and people have remarkable enthusiasm about President Obama’s pledge, Blair continued.
He commented that it is very important that the US participates in Copenhagen and enters into the agreed deal, which cannot work without China and America, the biggest emitters of pollution.
Fifteen senators, three governors and senior executives from GE, Cisco, and Duke Energy attended the conference.
Denmark’s climate and energy minister, Connie Hedegaard, who will take the chair in Copenhagen, and Nicholas Stern, were also there.
However, Democrats in Congress have an uphill struggle to win the next stage on the way to Copenhagen.
Legislation to curb and fix a price on carbon will be hard to pass mainly through concerns it might slow the economy further.
Tony Blair agreed that government leaders would be focused on working to end the recession, but said that global warming will not go away and doing nothing will magnify the dangers to the environment and the economy of the future.
When asked if it was shrewd to introduce new measures during a period of financial difficulty, Mr. Blair said that taxes and limits on carbon emissions were not aimed at making life more expensive but providing a chance of reducing electricity bills.
Blair said he understands the difficulties government leaders encounter when dealing with the conflicting demands of global warming and the financial downturn.
He added that it was not long ago that he was Prime Minister so he knows that in the long term there are serious problems but urgent solutions are still needed in the short term.
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