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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Tony Blair and a group of international statesmen and business leaders on June 19 said that a “clean revolution” – a step change in investment in renewable energy and clean technology – was needed to lead the world out of recession.
In an open letter, they said: “We have a historic opportunity to lead the world out of recession and into a more stable, sustainable future. The ‘Clean Revolution’ is essential if we want to ensure we save our economies from the crippling costs of runaway climate change, and create meaningful jobs and enhance energy security.”
The signatories of the open letter are backing the launch in Rio of the Clean Revolution campaign, a major initiative by The Climate Group and a range of government and business partners that calls for a ‘green growth’ push out of global recession.
Tony Blair, in a speech, added: “The Clean Revolution is the expressway to the Green Economy. Because of the current financial crisis, acting on climate change is more than ever before an opportunity to lead the world out of recession and to tackle the increasing geopolitical tensions created by the lack of energy security.”
Among the campaign’s backers to date are Philips and Suzlon, a major Asian wind turbine manufacturer, as well as other businesses and venture capitalists in China and the United States.
“Government and business leaders are realizing the opportunity in the Clean Revolution and are already leading the world into a more sustainable future. But it needs to happen faster. We need a step change. And it begins, today, at Rio+20,” said Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group.
Speakers at the Clean Revolution launch event in Rio included Prince Albert of Monaco, Quebec’s PremierJean Charest, The World Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Andrew Steer, Georg Kell, UN Global Compact Executive Director, senior representatives from Phillips, Suzlon and the Dutch Postcode Lottery as well as Professor Wang Yi of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, one of the key architects of China’s low carbon strategy.
“We should not expect global rules to guide us though this ‘make or break’ decade.” Instead it will be voluntary leadership that will demonstrate that success is not only possible, but also profitable, and which in turn will inspire others to act. The Clean Revolution Initiative is designed to move things across the tipping point. We’re proud to be part of it,” said Andrew Steer, Special Envoy for Climate Change, The World Bank.
The Climate Group has launched a new website and a series of research reports demonstrating success stories of ‘clean revolutions’ under way in different parts of the world.
The Clean Revolution is a partnership of international statesmen and governments, business leaders and corporations, thinkers and opinion formers. It is coordinated by The Climate Group. It calls for a swift, massive scale-up of clean energy and infrastructure, and of smart technologies and design.
The initiative aims to create a tipping point for change by inspiring government and business leaders. It presents them with the evidence of the economic opportunities of the Clean Revolution, and profiles how innovative leadership is already transforming policies and markets around the world.
Image Courtesy of Toni Blair