Photo: Monika Flueckiger / World Economic Forum

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he’s heading up a new international climate team with the goal of securing a meaningful agreement on climate change in the next two years. Blair said he thought he could get the major emitting countries of the world, including the United States and China, to agree to a plan to cut carbon emissions 50 percent by 2050. “The fact of the matter is that if we do not take substantial action over the next two years, by 2020 we will be thinking seriously about adaptation rather than prevention,” he said. Blair will formally announce the initiative in Japan at a climate meeting of the world’s 20 biggest polluters this weekend. By summer 2009, the Blair team will release a report on major countries’ continuing differences on climate change, followed up by a Stern-like report demonstrating that tackling climate change needn’t be economically frightening. “The one thing I am absolutely sure of is that we are not going to get the action necessary by telling people not to consume,” Blair said.

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