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March 20, 2006 | by  | in News |
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Blair to speak at conference – God gets out his notebook

British Prime Minister Tony Blair will be giving a speech at a Victoria organised conference on climate change later this month.

The international conference, to be held at Te Papa from 28-29 of March, will not only have the best line up of international science experts in New Zealand’s recent history, but will be the first time a British Prime Minister has addressed a conference in New Zealand.

Conference organiser and Professor of Policy Studies at Victoria University Jonathan Boston says Blair, speaking from Auckland via video link, may use the forum to reveal a new policy announcement on climate change. Although he will give a short speech, most of his allotted half-hour will be question and answer sessions with TV 3’s John Campbell and former Prime Minister Jim Bolger.

The conference is designed to analyse climate change from both a scientific and policy perspective. Based upon the “verdict” that “climate change induced by human activity is not a theoretical hypothesis; it is in fact a process which is already well under way”, it intends to help shape future policy on climate change.

Another member of the organising committee, Cath Wallace from Victoria’s School of Government, says the conference is timely because of the recent Government change of heart on the carbon tax. “It’s [now] policy with no content,” she says. However, a paper suggesting possible future work programmes is going to cabinet just days after the conference.

Registrations for the conference are still open, with a reduced student charge of $75. More information is available on the website www.vuw.ac.nz/sog/events/info-climate.aspx.

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Nicola Kean: feature writer, philanthropist, womanly woman. Nicola is the smallest member of the Salient team, but eats really large pieces of lasagne. Favourites include 80s music, the scent of fresh pine needles and long walks on the beach.

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