Kyoto vs. Copenhagen – Tony Blair at GGCS2 on The Critical Difference

At GGCS2 the Governors’ Global Climate Summit earlier this month in Los Angeles, Tony Blair discussed the major difference between the UN Climate Conferences in Kyoto and the upcoming COP15 conference in Copenhagen.

The former prime minister of Great Britain told Ann Thompson of NBC News during a lunch panel discussion which also featured Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, and Dr. Rajendra Pachauri of India who heads the IPCC, that the major difference between Kyoto and Copenhagen is one of making a point versus getting things accomplished:

“Kyoto is a treaty that essentially allowed us to make a point,” Blair said. “For the first time, climate change was an international discussion, on an international stage, and we got a treaty. The purpose of Copenhagen is not to make a point, it’s to provide a solution. And that’s a whole lot tougher.”

In the video clip that follows, Blair says we need to ask ourselves what sort of economy do we want in the future, and then he answers his own question by saying “the only sensible answer is a sustainable economy.”

Former prime minister Blair ends his statement with a very personal admission about why he has taken such a bold leadership role in the climate change discussions:

Blair says, “My view is: for reasons of energy security, for reasons of the economy of the future, for reasons of innovation, but above all else, for this very simple reason: My youngest child is 9 years old. In 2050, he’s gonna be just a couple of years older than I am now. I would prefer him to look back and say, “When my dad had the chance, he tried to do the right thing and tried to create a better world for me, and safeguard the environment as part of his responsibility from his generation to mine.”