Environment

Future belongs to alternative energy: Tony Blair

DUBAI: The alternate energy will play a great role in catering to the growing demand for trade and industry in future as the present energy crisis was getting bigger every day. This was stated by the former British premier Tony Blair while talking to the President National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) Naeem Qureshi at a meeting on the sidelines of recently concluded second World Future Energy summit in Abu Dhabi.

He said that rising industrial activities, growing energy utilization and ill planning were the major reasons for prompting global energy crisis. Blair said that future belongs to solar and wind energy, geo-thermal and biomass and bio-fuels. This will not only provide energy to the entire world but help in reducing environment pollution, he added.

He said that about $ 520 billion will be required for the promotion of alternate energy till the year 2030 and the developing countries have to take up this responsibility. Former British premier said that large nations did not implement environmental standards despite ratification of Kuto Protocol. This will increase environmental degradation and pose serious threats to the world, he noted. Tony Blair said that UK has to reduce carbon emission by 80 percent by the year 2050.

He was of the opinion that developed and developing countries have go along for a sustainable development. He pointed out that the share of alternate energy will grow to 50 percent by the year 2100 and countries in the Middle East will play a prominent role in this development as this region has a market of $ 8 billion.

Blair further said: “It is right now, at the instant when our thoughts are centered on the economic challenge that we must not set to one side the challenge of global warming, but instead resolve to meet it and put the world on path to a sustainable future.” Blair outlined a range of steps that were required through a “global compact” to meet the environmental challenge.

“It needs not just a 2050 target but an interim target to get there a target for 2020 that shows seriousness of intent and gives business a clear, unequivocal signal to invest in a low-carbon future”, he opined. The interim goals would largely be aimed at the West but he believed it would have to be matched by obligations in the developing world.

He suggested that strategic partnerships between China and America, India and America and Europe and America would be important, with all three being of “paramount importance”. Blair said there was a need for a step change, not small steps to meet the scale of the challenge, but he also said it was necessary to be practical about what could be done.

“There is no point in demanding of President Obama something he cannot deliver. Instead let us help him deliver what he can.” Blair said global warming required enormous changes in the way the world did its business but that global cooperation brought wider benefits.

He praised Abu Dhabi for its decision earlier this week to set a 7% renewable energy target for 2020. That showed other oil-rich nations in the region what could be done and was an example of the kind of move away from pure self-interest that the world needed, argued Blair. He set out the importance of a green new deal to revitalize economies, arguing it was vital to “invest now in these times of a low-carbon price for the times when that price rises again”

On this occasion, Naeem Qureshi apprised Tony Blair of the performance and role of NFEH. Qureshi who is also the managing editor of leading energy magazine “Energy Update” presented the latest copy of the magazine. Tony Blair and other participants at the energy summit lauded the standard of Energy Update.-SANA

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Mubashar Nizam

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