Blair urges G8 to 'be brave' on 2050 targets

Former prime minister Tony Blair called on G8 leaders on Friday to back a target to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 when they meet next month in Hokkaido, Japan.

"The 2050 global target gives us a clear direction," Mr Blair said at a Tokyo press conference, adding the world must aim for realistic and practical solutions to win over major polluters such as the US and China.

"If China is not a part of the global deal, we will not get an agreement in my view. That is the political reality," he said.

He said there was little option but to use more renewable energy and technologies such as nuclear power.

Governments should not become "fixated on precise targets" but focus more on practical short-term steps towards halving emissions by 2050, said Mr Blair.

Rejecting nuclear power would be "a big mistake", he added.

Ending on an optimistic note, he said the challenge was no longer one of political will, it was more how to get a deal, "both radical but realistic" that sets us on a path to a low-carbon future.

The report Breaking the Climate Deadlock was commissioned for the Climate Group, a business-sponsored group which Mr Blair is heading.

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