Episode 30 / Claire Perry O'Neill

Ecopragmatism & Policy Innovation

Tony Blair

A Masterclass in Climate Geopolitics

Season 3 / Episode 38 / April 14, 2021  

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Tony Blair was the UK Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007 and is now the Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2016 with a staff of 200 spread over more than 20 countries. The Institute’s mission is ‘to equip leaders with what they need to build effective Governance and deliver open, inclusive and prosperous societies in a globalised world’. 

Since establishing the Institute, Tony Blair devotes ‘at least 80% of his time to running it. The Institute’s efforts are focused on improving governance in a number of African states and also supporting electrification on the continent via its ‘Power Africa’ programme. Recently, the Institute has done extensive work on COVID-19 response – from the role of digital technology to vaccination plans. 

Tony Blair’s time in office saw a growth of importance of energy and climate change: in 2003 Energy White Paper was published, calling for creating a low carbon economy and developing renewable energy sources in the UK. In 2006, the Stern Review, a study commissioned by the government was made public –the first comprehensive attempt to compare costs of mitigating climate change to a no-action scenario. In 2007 the Climate Change Act, landmark legislation requiring the UK to cut its emission by 80% by 2050 was put forward. 

Tony Blair was an MP for Sedgefield for 24 years, between 1983 and 2007. He became the Leader of the Opposition in 1994 and won three consecutive elections in 1997, 2002 and 2005 – the only Labour leader to achieve that. He was also the longest-serving Labour PM. After he stepped down as PM, Tony Blair became the Middle East envoy for the United Nations, European Union, United States, and Russia. He worked with a number of companies as an advisor and keynote speaker.  


Relevant Web Links 

  • Official Bio: Click Here

  • Blair says collaboration on Covid could have cut three months off crisis (March 2021): Click Here ​​

  • Treat pandemic preparedness as a national security issue (March 2021): Click Here

  • Why Vaccine Passports Are ‘Inevitable,’ Explained By Tony Blair (February 2021): Click Here

  • Tony Blair Insititute for Global Change: Click Here

  • A Journey: My Political Life – Tony Blair’s Autobiography: Click Here 


Further Reading 

Read a related article by Michael Liebreich:

  • Liebreich: Climate and Finance – Lessons from a Time Machine (March 2021): Click Here