Britain's Blair Urges Action on Global Warming

World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland features session on the risks of global warming to the world economy, but many believe the problem is too distant to motivate timely action.

Published: 28-Jan-2005

ish Prime Minister Tony Blair has told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that the issue of global warming must be addressed by world leaders, despite the fact there continues to be fierce debate about the scope of the problem. 

Mr. Blair told the forum there is no debate that glaciers are now in retreat, something he says has not happened in 12,000 years.  The British leader said the industrialized nations, that account for well over half of global output and half of carbon dioxide emissions, must do more to protect the environment.

At a session on risks to the world economy Thursday Harvard University environmental professor John Holdren identified global warming as a dangerous and intractable problem.

"Because the principal cause is the combustion of fossil fuels, which is responsible for something approaching 80 percent of the world's primary energy supply," he noted.  "And, of course, I do not need to explain to anybody in this room that energy is the lifeblood of our economies.  It is an indispensable ingredient of material prosperity.  It is essential to fuel economic growth.  And so we have this tremendous tension between the essential economic role of energy and its dominant role in driving the principal and most dangerous economic problem of our time."

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