Former United Kingdom Prime Minister, Tony Blair, opened the 4th Ministerial Meeting of the Gleneagles Dialogue, by explaining that there are few if any doubters behind the science of climate change. He said, there is in fact an acute awareness of the problem, and it continues to get worse. Mr Blair continued to say that the scale of the challenge is so great that a revolution, not an adjustment would be needed to transform the nature of today’s societies in terms of carbon emissions to make a global low-carbon economy possible. Collective action at a global level is needed for this revolution to succeed.
Mr. Blair explained that the low-carbon revolution would need to be on the size and scale as the industrial revolution to have the global impact necessary. He pointed out that in many areas of technology, things that we thought impossible will soon be seen as irreplaceable, but to enable this to occur governments needed to provide business and industry with a clear and long-term direction, as the private sector has the ability to act faster and provide solutions that governments themselves would be unable to do.
The former Prime Minister pointed out that already there are many solutions, but if they do not fly politically, they are of no use in solving the problem. Solutions need to be practical, and make a real difference to people’s lives. He felt that carbon markets were an essential part to any solution, in bringing finance to the solutions available, and that there needed to be a transformation in the way that we as a global community grow.
Tony Blair mentioned that technologies such as clean coal, nuclear power all have there part to play, but that although seen as unsexy to many, energy efficiency technologies must be at the centre of any solution. He felt that people, and the public at large were waiting for Ministers to give the lead. The call for action was loud, clear and urgent. He said that everyone at this meeting knew what needed to be done, and the rough and difficult path this involved, but we would all lose if we failed to show the political will and leadership needed.