Former UK prime minister Tony Blair is to visit India next week and meet government and industry, to discuss, among other things, how public-private partnerships can facilitate transfer of clean technologies between developed and developing countries.
Blair’s office has requested an appointment with Kapil Sibal, the science and technology minister, but no meeting has been firmed up yet. Sibal represented India at the recent United Nations-organized climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia, last November that discussed greenhouse gas emission targets for countries.
“Blair is part of international advocacy efforts—especially the private sector—on the use of clean technology to tackle global warming, and I believe he would be closely involved even with Indian industry to promote energy efficient technologies,” said a person who works on international climate change initiatives involving the UK government and did not wish to be identified. After he ceased to be prime minister, Blair has recently been appointed by JPMorgan Bank and Swiss insurer Zurich Financial Services as adviser to their climate change initiatives.
Blair is expected to stop over in India after he concludes his visit to Japan, where he will speak on climate change at the fourth meeting of the so-called Gleneagles Dialogue, a G8 (Group of Eight) initiative he launched in 2005. The dialogue brings together 20 of the world’s biggest polluting countries, including the G8 and the major emerging economies of Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, and allows them to informally discuss innovative ideas and new measures to tackle climate change outside the formal negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Japan meeting is expected to suggest innovative mechanisms to help private industry cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The UK and India are already involved in a partnership to study the impact of global warming on India, though an official involved with the programme said Blair was no longer involved with this.