Blair takes on international climate change role

March 14th, 2008 - 5:06 pm ICT by admin  

London, March 14 (DPA) Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to join a group of distinguished international experts on climate change which hopes to accelerate efforts to cut global carbon emissions, it emerged Friday. The former leader would travel widely in Asia and the Middle East to guide attempts to secure a deal involving most crucially China and the US in drawing up an action plan to slash emissions by 50 percent by 2050.

The initiative will be launched in Japan this weekend, reports in London said.

Blair will be joined by experts from China, Japan, the US and Europe.

In a broadcast on his personal website, Blair said Friday that participants at the last summit of G8 nations had agreed that climate change was a serious problem and that a new deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol was needed by 2012.

“And everybody agreed that everybody should be part of it - including America and China,” said the broadcast, adding, “What this means is that there is a consensus now right across the world that we need a new global deal and at the heart of it there has got to be a substantial cut in emissions.”

Since stepping down as prime minister last June, Blair has taken up a number of high-profile roles including that of an envoy for the Middle East and in helping the southern African state of Rwanda attract international investment.

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