Tony Blair lands green energy gig

Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingd...

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The decision by Silicon Valley-based Khosla Ventures to hire Tony Blair as strategy adviser on green energy will surprise some environmental campaigners. You only need to go as far back as 2003 to find the former prime minster being slammed from all sides for attempting to “greenwash” the then government’s environmental record, publishing a white paper on energy provision that many felt was full of hollow promises and light on hard targets.

Published on what the government dubbed at the time “green Monday”, the white paper on energy provision was met with derision from environmentalists including the Green party. Their principle speaker Margaret Wright described Blair’s white paper and environment secretary, Margaret Beckett’s annual report on sustainable development as, “green spin and greenwash”.

Wright pointed out back then that the £350m set aside for renewable energies in the energy white paper was just over half the taxpayer bail-out of the privatised nuclear power industry that had recently been announced.

Even the prime minister’s environmental adviser, Sir Jonathon Porritt, warned that the UK would fall “well short” of its goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent by 2010 unless major policy changes were made, particularly on reducing car use.

Blair’s government insisted it was backing renewable energy sources with an extra £30m for that sector per annum. So what do Blair’s green credentials really amount to? To find out, read the role Blair Associates is expected to play at Khosla Ventures and what Vinod Khosla thinks about nuclear power in the extended entry of this blog here.

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