Gov. Schwarzenegger, British Prime Minister Tony Blair Sign Historic Agreement to Collaborate on Climate Change, Clean Energy
STEVE HOWARD: Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Steve Howard. I'm the CEO of The Climate Group. Thank you all for waiting for us today. We've had an unprecedented meeting inside, business leaders with Governor Schwarzenegger and Prime Minister Tony Blair. We've all been coming around the common subject of the concern over how do we solve climate change and deliver a clean energy future. There was a tremendous if you could have bottled the energy in that room, we could have definitely solved the problem overnight. We'll have a new alliance going forward here which Lord Browne will talk about, but really I'm not going to take any time, because I'm far from the main event here. I'd like to introduce our first speakers, and then introduce the business leaders. We'll have Prime Minister Tony Blair followed by Governor Schwarzenegger and then Lord Browne of BP and Chad Holliday of DuPont and Tom King of PG&E. Prime Minister Tony Blair has done more, I would say, than any other international leader on this issue. He's put climate change at the heart of the G8 agenda, invited in the five major developing countries to build a strong international accord. He set a 60% reduction target for the U.K., put climate change at the heart of the EU agenda, and really is an exceptional leader on this subject. Governor Schwarzenegger last year had the privilege as the Governor, made the first announcements around action in California with an 80% reduction target, which was by far and away the most challenging target. But he also said the debate is over in such a compelling way I believed it, and I went and told everybody, the debate is now over and the time for action is now. And I believe the Governor will go down in history as The Emissions Terminator. Lord Browne of BP has had a remarkable career at the helm of the second largest company on the planet, but a company that has done more than any other, and his leadership has been outstanding on climate change, championing policy action, actually reducing emissions within the company itself and actually delivering ground breaking new alternative energies. Phenomenal leadership. Chad Holliday of DuPont, they've slashed emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, and are developing new products and services that will be part of the new low carbon economy and saved billions of dollars in the process. And here in California we've got Tom King from PG&E which have constructed really useful partnerships with our customers to help save energy as well as sell energy. So we'll have a great conference. There will be time for questions and answers from the Prime Minister and the Governor afterwards. Thank you for waiting for us, and without any further ado, I would say Prime Minister Tony Blair. PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR: Thank you. First of all, can I say how delighted I am to be here in California, and in particular to be able to discuss with Governor Schwarzenegger the extraordinary work and extraordinary leadership that he has accomplished here in California. This is of immense importance, I think. Sometimes this issue is always betrayed as Europe wants one thing, America wants another. Actually, what he is showing is that there is a tremendous amount of commitment and dedication to getting this issue resolved. And for a state as large and as powerful as California to play a part in this is obviously tremendously important. One of the things that we're launching today is a U.K./California partnership which will allow us to explore how both of us as leaders, the California state and the U.K. as leaders in this area, can combine together in research and technology, but also in trying to evolve market mechanisms that allow us to reduce CO2 emissions. And although this work is at an early stage, I think of all the things that we are talking about today, the one thing that would be really, really exciting is if we could start a tie up between what we're doing in Europe with the European Trade and Emission System, and what could happen here in the U.S. and here in the state of California. And I just wanted to say a couple of things. The first is that we know that we need a new international framework when the Kyoto protocol expires. I think there is a real chance of getting such a framework, provided that we are going to be clear that it needs to be a framework that gives us the right market mechanisms in order to reduce CO2 emissions and provided it's a binding framework with a stabilization goal at the heart of it. I think it is possible to achieve this. If we do that, and the whole purpose of the G8 + 5 dialogue was to make sure that not just Europe and Japan, but also North America and, of course, the emerging countries, China, India, Brazil, Mexico and so on. If we can get an international agreement with both of those things, a strong market mechanism and a stabilization goal, and put that within an overall international framework, we will be well on the way to developing the right technologies and the right efficiencies in order to deal with the issue that confronts us, an issue that I think people do understand now, is of huge significance, and also huge danger for the whole of the world. And in that regard, I was delighted to be in the presence of so many committed business leaders. I mean, this can't be done by business alone, but it certainly can't be done without business. And what is interesting to me is that we have a whole generation of leadership in the corporate sector today that want to take the subject seriously, that are determined to do it. They want the right partnership with government to get it done. So I leave today's meeting, actually, with a certain spirit of optimism, which is maybe well, people may think it's very idealistic in the face of the challenge that we have. But actually, as Steve was saying a moment or two ago, if we took the commitment that was there from business leaders in really strong sectors together with what I think is an increasing commitment by those in government, then we are at least on our way to putting in place the framework that will resolve this problem. There couldn't be anything more important for our children and for the generations to come, and it's a very heavy responsibility we have at this time, knowing what we now know with the science as certain as it is. We have to act. And that's the purpose of what we're doing today. And again, I'd like to thank the Governor for his kindness in welcoming me here today and also to say that I hope the U.K./California partnership that we're outlining today can play a real part in making this happen worldwide. Thank you very much. (Applause) GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: Thank you very much, Prime Minister Tony Blair, for the wonderful comments, and I want to thank you also for being here today and participating in this roundtable discussion. And I agree with what the Prime Minister has said, that when you get the private sector and the public sector together, that's when you create real action, so I'm very happy about that. And, of course, he has been a great inspiration to all of us, because he has been a great leader that has proven that you can do both: You can build a great economy and you can take care of the environment at the same time. And, of course, in California we want to create the same action here. We have been a leader, also, here for the last three decades. And we do not want to wait for the Federal Government to create that action; we want to create it and we want to be the leaders in that. And this is why it is so terrific to be here today and why we have taken the unprecedented step by signing an agreement between California and the United Kingdom. We are collaborating on a long term challenge that Prime Minister Tony Blair has correctly called the single most important issue that we face as a global community. The international partnership is what is exactly needed in order to fight the global warming, and that is what we are seeing here today. California, after all, is like a nation state, and when we act, the world takes notice and it has a tremendous impact. Our state has been at the forefront of environmental protection and on energy efficiency for the last three decades. The agreement that we are signing here with Prime Minister Blair means that we will share best practices on emission trading to speed up the transition to a low carbon economy, and we will share our economic data so that both can deepen our understanding of the economics of climate change. And we will collaborate also on technological research so that the United Kingdom benefits from our work and our initiatives if it is the Million Solar Roof Initiative or the Hydrogen Highway. Also we can benefit from them from their work on issues such as renewable fuels or, for instance, the cap and trade system. In the end it's going to take leadership to conquer, of course, the challenges of global warming, and we are all going to work together on this, leadership we will provide in California, and leadership Tony Blair will be providing in the United Kingdom, and leadership like these companies that all participated here today are providing around the world, which has been really terrific. So I'm very optimistic about the future. I'm really looking forward to this great, great agreement that we are signing here today, and I wanted to thank the Prime Minister very much for being here and for being such a great partner. Thank you very much. (Applause). LORD BROWNE: Governor, Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen. We had a superb meeting today, and I think the reason for that is it is in a state which is known for advances in everything. And California is a wonderful place for everyone to meet and talk. I think from the business leaders' part there is no disagreement that climate change is something which requires action to be taken. And secondly, that there are actions that can be taken. In my own industry and in the company I lead, we are driving heavily increases in the scale in the way in which electricity is generated through solar, through wind, through fuels which no longer have carbon in them, because carbon is removed, as well as inventing and creating new types of fuel based on bio inputs. These are just some examples. The third thing is that we have all recognized there is no trade off, no trade off between business, which is good for the environment and a good business. And fourth, I think everyone remains keen to make sure that the regulation that's put in place to allow the great technologies to be made into businesses must be regulation that isn't good just for today, but is also good for tomorrow. Good for tomorrow in that if the general price of the competing energies goes down, such as crude oil, then we all hope that the way in which alternative energy works is not damaged, because it competes with something which is very much cheaper. These are things to be solved, solved on a local basis and solved on a global basis. It's quite possible that everything will be solved in pieces, which we just have to hope that the pieces can speak to each other much like currencies, their exchange rates between one regime and another to allow people to do business globally. Thank you very much. (Applause) CHAD HOLLIDAY: To add briefly to Lord Browne's comments, three things stood out to me in the time we spent together. First, collaboration of government leaders. NGOs, and a broad cross section of businesses from Google to Virgin Atlantic to Interface came together and solved different kinds of ideas, and that's what's important going forward. We must do that on a global basis. Second, science is our friend. The Prime Minister described a framework that when implemented will give us the freedom for scientists at DuPont and other companies around the world to put their creativity to use, particularly biotechnology, a technology that we know can make a big difference and plays a big role in cooperation that DuPont has with BP today. And third, this is about action now, and we must give companies encouragement when they take early action they will be rewarded for that. Thank you very much. (Applause) TOM KING: This issue is about leadership, and I want to thank the Governor and the Prime Minister for being a leader both in climate and in energy. And I also want to thank The Climate Group for taking the initiative to bring this group together and create this very, very positive dialogue. PG&E believes that the climate change is real, and the time is now for action. And Governor, you said it well recently, the time now is for action. That's why PG&E is committed to remaining the nation's leader in energy efficiency, and it's why we're investing an additional billion dollars in energy efficiency over the next two years. And PG&E provides customers today with electricity that is over 50% free of greenhouse gas emissions. And we're committed to add more wind, solar and renewables to that energy mix. So then, again, it's so important that we all take action, we stand up, we move forward and we thank the leadership we have with the Governor and the Prime Minister for helping us do that. And PG&E remains committed to working with you to make that happen. Thank you. (Applause) STEVE HOWARD: So today was the beginning of something. You've all seen a copy of the statements and the new corporate climate alliance formed. It's great. Actually, Google are also a signatory to that statement. So I think this is the beginning of a positive dialogue. But on the subject of dialogue, we've now got questions and answers with the Prime Minister and the Governor, facilitated by Tom, thanks. QUESTIONS/ANSWERS QUESTION: If I can ask both you, Prime Minister, and Governor Schwarzenegger, the issue of climate change, there are some people who say it's unclear whether there is climate change, that there is still a debate, that there are still scientists who are saying this might not be exactly what is being presented. What do you say to those people who question whether or not there is, in fact, climate change? PRIME MINISTER: I think the evidence of climate change and its danger is overwhelming. I think it is very hard now for anyone to dispute it. Interestingly, at the recent G8 summit in St. Petersburg, everybody around the table with no exceptions said that they recognize that climate change existed. And I think that the basic point is this. Even if you thought there was a very strong case that it existed I happen to believe the case is absolutely clear but even if you simply said it's a very strong case, on any basis of precaution, you would want to act. And I think already we can see some evidence in just people's experience of what is happening. And the fascinating thing, and what, as I say, made me optimistic today is that it does lie within our own hands to take the power to get this job done. And we have to get it done. And if we don't, I wouldn't like to be the political leader when in 15, 20, 30 years' time people look back and say, well, what on earth were they doing at this time; that was the evidence and they didn't act. And I think it's got a lot of implications right throughout the world at the moment, as well, including, incidentally, with some of the poorest countries in the world who are already dealing with their poverty but will be the worst affected by climate change and the least able to adapt. So it's a very, very strong case. GOVERNOR: I just want to say that I have said this before, that I think the debate is over. I think there is so much scientific evidence that there is global warming and that it is created by us and that if we don't do something about it we are going into a disastrous situation. And so there's always people that doubt it, there's people that still think that the world is flat and some people that believe all kinds of things. But I think some people are stuck in this old thing. But I think it is very clear the universities, the think tanks and the research people and the scientists that I read their reports, I trust them. ROBINSON: Nick Robinson, BBC news. Prime Minister, if I could take you back to the events in the Middle East. You spoke to the Israeli Prime Minister today. He has said that the Israeli offensive goes on and there won't be a cease fire for days. Is the problem that he's not listening to you and President Bush, or is the problem that you're still not telling him to stop? And could I ask the Governor, briefly, on climate change, you say the debate is over, but we sense the debate is not over in the White House. Why not? GOVERNOR: I'll let the Prime Minister answer first, please. PRIME MINISTER: And I'm happy to pass the second question to you, really. Look, about discussions today with the Prime Minister of Israel, Prime Minister of Lebanon, President Chirac, Prime Minister Prodi of Italy and others, we are trying to negotiate the right resolution that allows the conflict to stop. And the basic issue is how will we give some certainty to both sides, to the government of Lebanon and to the government of Israel, that it genuinely is going to stop on both sides. Now, I'm not going to go into the details of it too much, but we are working on a resolution and a plan to make sure that that happens. But it will be a very, very, intense negotiation over the coming days. But everybody understands what the issue is: We need to get the resolution, and the resolution must be the occasion for us to be able to stop hostilities. GOVERNOR: There are a lot of issues that the Federal Government and the State agree on, and there are some issues that we disagree on. And I think that we see that there is not great leadership from the Federal Government when it comes to protecting the environment, so this is why we as a state move forward with it, because we want to show leadership. And I am a strong believer that a lot of great things have happened from a grassroots level up and from a state level up. So there is no reason for us to wait. It's all about leading and moving forward. And like I said earlier, the Prime Minister has been a great example of that and has been a great inspiration to us, and so we want to follow that. I think they have done a great job in England and in Europe with the leadership of Prime Minister Blair, and there is no reason why we shouldn't do it. And this why I'm very excited about forming this partnership here today and moving forward. And I think that when California and England and other states we are working very hard with the western states to go and have the western states join us we can really spread the good news all over the world. I think it's going to have a great impact. QUESTION: (Inaudible) GOVERNOR: If I'm not mistaken, your mike is off a little bit, so if you can turn it on, because I cannot hear you. Can we turn on the mike? Do we have a mike? QUESTION: When we talk about California as you did as a nation state, to people watching this it means there is a huge gulf between the white house and you on the environment. Are you setting us up as a separate country? GOVERNOR: No, not at all. I think California is a great part of the United States, but we happen to be a leading state with a huge economy, and we are, like I say, a nation state. And I think that we have the responsibility to our people and to the rest of the world that we take care of our environment, and since we know there is global warming, that we should stop it. And this is why we are committed to rolling back our greenhouse gas emissions to the 1990 level by the year 2020, and to reduce it another 80% by the year 2050. So I think that is a commitment that we have made, and we are passing legislation right now, and I think we are going to make great moves forward. I think the important thing also is to always make sure that people understand that we can do both, which is protect the environment and at the same time have economic growth. I think that's one thing that we have seen in England happening, with a 35% growth economically and at the same time reducing the emission by 12.5%. So there's great things, and I think we can do the same thing here, and I think this is what it's all about. We have seen for the last two and a half years the economy come back in a big way in California, and at the same time we have taken care of the environment. CRAIG: Jon Craig, Sky News. Prime Minister, I'd like to take you back to the Middle East, if I may. You've talked over the last 24, 48 hours about trying to speed up the diplomatic process to get a resolution and a force into Lebanon and the Middle East. You are not having much success in speeding up that process. To what extent would you accept that part of the problem is that you are seen very much as President Bush's agent here and supporter rather than an independent, honest broker? And given the setbacks that you've had, what do you think your personal efforts have achieved? PRIME MINISTER: Well, I think the most important thing is to GOVERNOR: Very positive people. I like that optimism. Very nice. Excuse me. PRIME MINISTER: Totally fine, actually. The important thing is to try. And incidentally, you know, you say that it's just the U.K. and America are in this position. Germany is in the same position. Australia is in the same position. Canada is in the same position. And actually everybody is in the position of wanting the violence and conflict to stop on both sides. But it's got to be done on a basis which deals with the underlying problem. So I will carry on working this as hard as I can. And actually, I think we are making progress, because people have now got the basic elements of a resolution that could be agreed to at the security council. We've now got to make sure, however, that when we put that resolution down, the pathway and the framework is clear so that people can be sure the violence and conflict is going to stop and stop on both sides so that Israel is secure and the Lebanese government can take back control over the whole of Lebanon. Now, that's the whole purpose of what we're doing. And yes, it's complicated and difficult, but it's better to be trying than not trying. QUESTION: Governor, on the issue of President Bush, what is the message to the White House when the head of a government and the head of the nation's most popular state get together and sign an agreement on global warming? Is it, as some critiques say, does it show that the President is so out of step on this issue that others have had to take up the mantle on it? GOVERNOR: I think the message is that we do not wait for the Federal Government, that we will move forward, because we know it is the right thing to do. This state is going to lead on that issue, and I think that we will get other states involved, other western states involved. As a matter of fact, in each one of the Governors conferences, if it is the Border Governors Conference or the Western Governors Conference or the Republican Governors Conference or the Democratic Governors Conference, all those conferences we try to get the message out to them: Let's not wait for the Federal Government, let us move forward. So this is what it is. It's like stem cell research. It's the same thing. There's many issues like that where I feel that California should lead the way, and this is why the people in California have approved the $3 billion stem cell research, even though the White House is not for it. But we are for it. The people of California are for it, and we're going to move forward. And there are many issues, like I said, we are in sync. on and that we go exactly in the same direction. QUESTION: (Inaudible) PRIME MINISTER: Well, I think the most important thing, to be honest, is that we find the international framework that can move all this on. And I think what's happening here in California is fantastic, and obviously it's giving leadership to the rest of the U.S. But I would emphasize, America is part of the G8 + 5 dialogue. And we could debate forever, Kyoto or not Kyoto, although I think it's fair to say when you look back on the Kyoto protocol, it was rejected by a fairly large margin at the time here. But that debate, in a sense, is one in which we've just got to accept there are different views about. My concern is actually to try to get the right international framework now, and one that includes America and includes China and India and the other emerging economies that are going to be, and indeed to a great extent already are, large emitters of CO2 emissions. So in the end, people can focus on divisions or differences. I prefer to think of this as a process in which we've taken a position, my country, but now we've got the chance of a dialogue at an international level that will bring the international community back together again so that when the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012 we've got the whole of the international community there America, China, India, Europe, Japan, everyone. And if we do that, I think it will make a huge difference. And people come at this from different angles as well. Some people come at it from the position of climate change. We can see with rising oil prices and worries about energy security and supply, that's a further reason. So I kind of see something happening here which, whatever people's perspective on this, actually environmental technology, sustainable development, is now in everyone's interest. So, I think whatever the issues of the past are, I honestly believe we can get agreement at an international level today. QUESTION: First of all, to the Governor, you have three successful career changes behind you. In your area of expertise then, what do you think Tony Blair should do when he is no longer Prime Minister? And also to the Prime Minister, have you had any job offers yet? GOVERNOR: I really cannot give him advice on what he should do. Maybe he should be the head of the U.N. Maybe something that is a step up. Who knows what it is, because it's a big job that he has right now. And I think whatever job he wants, he will get, because he has such a great success rate at home, and he has done such a remarkable job, I think in Europe and England and as a leader in the world. So I think anything. And if he needs a job and wants a job in Hollywood, I'll get him to play Terminator 4. I mean, anything is available. PRIME MINISTER: Now, that is definitely the best offer I've had. Actually, the sad thing is it's the only offer I've had. GOVERNOR: Thank you very much.