Tony Blair in Netherlands: Technology, US-China agreement key to global deal
- 12 May 2009
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair visited The Netherlands on Friday and spoke of his confidence that, with the right incentives, technological innovation can unlock the door to a prosperous low carbon future.
Mr Blair's visit was part of his joint initiative with The Climate Group - Breaking the Climate Deadlock - which aims to strengthen political momentum for a new international climate treaty that will succeed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and drive ambitious emissions reductions across the world.
As well as meeting the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and other senior members of the Dutch government, Mr Blair spoke at a climate solutions event in the Hague hosted by The Dutch Postcode Lottery and The Climate Group.
Other speakers at the event included: Frans Timmermans, Dutch Minister for European Affairs; Hans de Boer of Better Place; Boudewijn Poelmann of the Dutch Postcode Lottery; and Steve Howard of The Climate Group.
At the event, Mr Blair said that determining key responsibilities between industrialised and developing nations would be central to a deal between the 190 countries meeting at the UN climate summit at the end of the year.
He emphasize the role that the world's two bigges emitters would have to play, saying that that achieving a fair and effective global deal in Copenhagen hinged on a deal between the US and China.
Under President Obama, the US was now ready to be part of a Copenhagen agreement, Mr Blair said, but "they need a deal with China in it."
He added that US climate pledges would be "partly geared to the level of commitment that comes back from China and India and others. And vice versa: If the Chinese think the West is really serious about this, they'll want to do more."
Neither China nor the US are bound by any commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under Kyoto Protocol, which called on 37 developed countries to cut emissions by a total 5 percent below 1990 levels. UN delegates convene in Bonn, Germany, in June to begin discussing the draft text of a new Copenhagen agreement.
Video: Tony Blair on Climate Solutions