In a wide-ranging speech on world issues, including international action on climate change, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair told a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that he believed nuclear power had to be part of the future energy mix.
On climate change, he said, "The German G8 Presidency gives us an opportunity to agree at least the principles of a new binding international agreement to come into effect when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012; but one which is more radical than Kyoto and more comprehensive, one which this time, includes all the major countries of the world. It is a prize of tantalising significance and I think it is possible." He added, "I believe we are potentially on the verge of a breakthrough."
Blair said any agreement would not be able to deliver without binding commitments from the USA, China and India. "Without the biggest economies being part of the framework to reduce carbon dependence, we have no earthly chance of success," he said, adding that "the mood in the US is in the process of a quantum shift."
However, he said, "I don't think we will tackle climate change" and energy security "effectively unless nuclear power is part of it."
"But I look ahead in my country and I see a situation where we're going to move, incidentally, from self-sufficiency in gas to importing 90% of it, and I say for reasons both of energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, how are we going to do that without nuclear energy being part of the mix?"
"And I think we've got to get over this false view that it offers nothing by way of the future. I think there is a whole new generation of technology growing up around it," he said.
Tony Blair's speech at Davos (27 January 2007)
WNA's Global Warming - the Science information paper
WNA's Global Warming - Policy Responses information paper