Breaking the Climate Deadlock report launch: Opening remarks from Dr. Steve Howard

27 June 2008

TOKYO, JAPAN - Transcript of opening remarks from Dr. Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, at the Breaking the Climate Deadlock report launch.



Good Afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, honoured guests. I am Steve Howard CEO of The Climate Group.

In a few minutes The Rt Hon Tony Blair will speak to his new report, Breaking The Climate Deadlock.

Firstly a few words of introduction.

It is not overly dramatic to say we stand at a cross roads, between an uncertain future of rising pollution and climate chaos, or a green technology revolution that delivers a clean and prosperous world. In a few days time world leaders will gather in Japan for the G8+8 meetings in Hokkiado under the leadership of Prime Minister Fukuda. They will have an historic opportunity to take us all a vital step towards a global deal on climate change.

As Prime Minister, Tony Blair was a leading advocate for action on climate change. Three years ago Mr Blair took the bold and decisive step to put climate change at the top of the political agenda during the UK's Presidency of the G8. This might be something we take for granted today, but three years ago it was little short of visionary. Progress has been made but there is a long way still to go.

At The Climate Group we work with leading businesses such HSBC, cities such New York and states such as California. We have offices in India, China, the US, UK and Australia. Our partners know that reducing emissions can create jobs and opportunities. But they also know individual action, of even the largest states or businesses is not enough. We must all act for us all to benefit. We believe that business can deliver clean green technology that we need - but only with the right government support. This is not truly a technology challenge - it is a political challenge.

Which is why The Climate Group was delighted when Mr Blair asked us to support his initiative, of which this report is a first step. To convene on his behalf a group of global experts, and engage business leaders and politicians; and to help layout the key elements of a global deal under his direction.


This report presents a road map for leaders from a leader's perspective. It lays out the issues - both technical and political - that need to be addressed by the time of the climate conference in Copenhagen at the end of next year. The challenge is significant but with bold political leadership it is clear that we can reverse the growth in greenhouse gas emissions, limit the impacts of climate change and safeguard our economy.

And now it is a great honour to introduce the Rt Hon Tony Blair.

Read on: Tony Blair's speech

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