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Thu 22 Jan 2009 07:20 AM

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Former British PM praises Abu Dhabi's green approach

Tony Blair hails Masdar, urges region to continue green investment amid global crisis.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has heaped praise on the work of Masdar, Abu Dhabi's clean energy initiative.

Speaking at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES 2009) in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, he congratulated the company over its $22 billion plans for the carbon-neutral, zero waste Masdar City project.

Masdar, he added, was sending out a clarion call of progress. "Well done, Masdar on what you have done; and what you now will do. You are an example to the world," Blair said.

The current economic woes "provide us not with an excuse for inaction but a reason for acting," Blair told an audience of hundreds of delegates, energy experts and senior governmental officials from more than 20 countries.

The former British Premier called for stimulating economic growth "by investing in alternative energy and energy efficiency", adding: "Let us invest now in these times of lower carbon price to prepare for the times when that price rises again. Let us put economic growth and combating climate change in alliance not opposition."

He warned against setting aside the challenge of global warming issue because of focusing on the economic challenge.

Blair also paid tribute to the UAE founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, saying: "Those who know the history of this nation know that Sheikh Zayed was a conservationist and environmentalist long before it was fashionable."

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