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Blair wants new technology to fight global warming

March 29 UK Prime Minister Tony Blair called for a technological revolution such as the creation of the Internet to fight global warming.

Seeking to dispel concern that Britain has watered down its commitment to curbing the carbon emissions blamed for raising the Earth’s temperature, Blair wants an international agreement to spur so-called green technologies.

‘‘We’ve got to create the circumstances in which the investors out there in business and the financial markets think this is where the opportunities are,’’ Blair, on a visit to Auckland, New Zealand, said on Wednesday in a televised address to a conference in Wellington. ‘‘Once you start setting these goals and there’s credibility behind them, then people start to change their behavior.’’

In London, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said on Tuesday the UK, the second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the European Union, will aim to cut emissions of the gas to at least 15% below 1990 levels by 2010 rather than the 20% it previously targeted. Britain wants to avoid placing a greater burden on its industry compared with other European nations and the rest of the world, said Alan Johnson, the trade and industry secretary. Cutting the target was ‘not a comfortable thing to do.’

Blair, traveling this week in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia, brought... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Seeking to dispel concern that Britain has watered down its commitment to curbing the carbon emissions blamed for raising the Earth’s temperature, Blair wants an international agreement to spur so-called green technologies.

‘‘We’ve got to create the circumstances in which the investors out there in business and the financial markets think this is where the opportunities are,’’ Blair, on a visit to Auckland, New Zealand, said on Wednesday in a televised address to a conference in Wellington. ‘‘Once you start setting these goals and there’s credibility behind them, then people start to change their behavior.’’

In London, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said on Tuesday the UK, the second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the European Union, will aim to cut emissions of the gas to at least 15% below 1990 levels by 2010 rather than the 20% it previously targeted. Britain wants to avoid placing a greater burden on its industry compared with other European nations and the rest of the world, said Alan Johnson, the trade and industry secretary. Cutting the target was ‘not a comfortable thing to do.’

Blair, traveling this week in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia, brought up the issue of global warming in his meetings with political and business leaders in the region. Australian Prime Minister John Howard and US President George W Bush oppose the 1997 Kyoto accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Any agreement would have to include fast-growing economies such as China, India and Brazil as well as the US, Blair said. He cited the EU’s carbon-trading project as an example of a way to give business incentives to find cleaner technologies.

Environmental groups and Britain’s main opposition Conservative Party attacked Labour for abandoning its emissions targets, saying Blair isn’t providing leadership in the fight against global warming.

‘‘The government’s efforts to tackle climate change remain piecemeal, timid and half-hearted,’’ said Peter Ainsworth, the lawmaker in charge of environment policy for the Conservatives, which have focused on the issue since electing David Cameron as party leader in December.

Greenpeace campaigner Charlie Kronick called Blair’s action on climate change ‘‘an abdication of responsibility.’’ Friends of the Earth Director Tony Juniper said it was ‘‘pathetic.’’

Blair campaigned for office in 1997 and 2001 saying his government would do the most to protect the environment, vowing to go beyond Britain’s Kyoto commitments that call for carbon emissions to be reduced to 12.5% below 1990 levels. He made global warming a focus of meetings of the Group of Eight industrial nations that Britain hosted last year.

Attempting to build a consensus among industrial nations on how to act, Blair focused his efforts on ways to encourage industry and consumers to use cleaner forms of energy.

The US is the world’s biggest polluter, accounting for a quarter of all carbon emissions, while Australia is the world’s largest supplier of coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels.

As part of the solution, Blair has indicated he is ready to support building a new generation of nuclear plants, which unlike coal-fired and gas-fired plants produce virtually no emissions of carbon dioxide.

Aging nuclear and coal-fired stations that generate about a third of Britain’s power will be closed by 2020, and environmentalist and some Labour lawmakers say Britain should seek to replace them with renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydro electricity. Blair has pledged a decision by mid-year.


Source: http://www.financialexpress...

MAR 30 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1996-blair-wants-new-technology-to-fight-global-warming
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