Tony Blair, the former UK prime minister, argues in an interview with the FT (transcript below) that now is the time to kick-start investments in a green economy. The stimulus packages being rolled out around the world should focus on green measures, he says, if we are to avoid an unsustainably high-carbon future.
When in office, Tony Blair did much to raise climate change higher on the political agenda. In 2005, he made the topic the focus of the UK’s presidency of the European Union, and of the G8 summit, which the UK hosted. From that G8 summit came a new forum for international climate change discussions, the Gleneagles Dialogue. He used his relationship with George W Bush to try to persuade the US president to take a more conciliatory approach on climate change, especially with regard to carrying on negotiations on climate change under the auspices of the United Nations.
Cambridge Energy Research Associates has put out an interesting set of forecasts for oil supply over the next five years, which received a fair amount of press coverage.
What the reports do not explore very closely, however, is the extent to which CERA is still at the optimistic end of the range of forecasts.
Earth Hour, the global switch-off at 8.30 on Saturday night to raise awareness of climate change, was aiming to get 1bn people to join in this year. It is not clear yet how many took part, but there is some good video available from events in several cities in Europe and Oceania. It is noticeable, though, that the famous landmarks being switched off, the Eiffel Tower and so on, are generally clearly visible in silhouette against the blaze of lights still burning around them. (Except in New Zealand, where it looks as though they were really going for it, with lots of candles and acoustic guitars.)
No footage from China, so far, which rehearsed last week, but decided to soft-pedal the event because of the clash with its new “Serfs’ Emancipation Day” holiday.