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Tony Blair visits Lower Marsh

London SE1 website team

To the surprise of workers looking out of their Waterloo office windows on Tuesday morning, Tony Blair visited the rooftop of a Lower Marsh building as he prepared to make a major speech on environmental issues.

Tony Blair

The Prime Minister met Jeremy Leggett, CEO of solarcentury, a London alternative energy company with its HQ in Lower Marsh. He examined the solar panels on the roof of solarcentury and talked of the green industrial revolution at work.  Mr Blair also engaged in a lively discussion with young people who work in the energy industry. This roundtable discussion focused on the problems of global warming and implications for the UK economy and the environment.

The morning visit was in advance of the Prime Minister's evening speech to mark the tenth anniversary of the environment programme launched by the Prince of Wales. The PM aims to use Britain's position next year as head of the G8 and use its forthcoming presidency of the European Union to push for a reduction in greenhouse emissions.

Tony Blair

"We will keep the funding in place for the renewables programme", the PM told the audience at solarcentury. "We will use public procurement to usher in the economies of scale. There are lots of public buildings coming on board, we will make renewables an intricate part of these buildings. We need to increase awareness. It's not just bricks and mortar, it's also good for the environment."

"Solar energy and all the other members of the renewables family are ready to go in the coming battles against oil shortage and global warming," solarcentury CEO Jeremy Leggett said. "Solar photovoltaic roofs and facades on buildings give you high value insurance against rising future energy prices at increasingly low cost right where you need the energy. We can power much of the country and do so much faster than most people realise. Together with our sister low carbon technologies we are capable of powering the entire country without the need for greenhouse gas emissions or oil and gas imports. All we need is the collective will and imagination to make the change."

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