Tony Blair to advise Khosla Ventures on green energy

Image caption,
Tony Blair takes on another role - as a part-time adviser on green energy

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is joining US venture capital firm Khosla Ventures as an adviser.

The business, started in 2004 by Vinod Khosla, a co-founder of technology giant Sun Microsystems, specialises in environmentally-friendly technologies.

These include solar, wind and nuclear energy projects.

Khosla also backs start-ups in sectors such as mobile phones and the internet. It has not been disclosed how much Mr Blair will be paid.

According to Khosla, which last year raised $1.3bn (£900m) from private investors, Mr Blair will provide strategic advice regarding investments in environmentally friendly or helpful technologies.

In a press release from the firm, based in Menlo Park, California, Mr Blair said: "Solving the climate crisis is more than just a political agenda item - it's an urgent priority that requires innovation, creativity, and ambition."

Mr Khosla said: "Understanding local and global politics is now important for us, techie nerds. This is where our relationship with Tony Blair can really help us. Tony understands far better than I ever will the political and geopolitical forces, as well as organization behaviour and social behaviour and change."

Open mind

Mr Blair's main political role is as special UN envoy for the Middle East quartet, which comprises the United Nations, Russia, the United States and the European Union. Its aim is to reinvigorate peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

He also runs the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which, his website says, promotes respect and understanding between the major religions and makes the case for faith as a force for good in the modern world.

In a recent interview, Mr Khosla said he had an extremely open mind on the future for so-called green-tech.

Borrowing a quote from the late science fiction author Arthur C Clarke, Mr Khosla said: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

He added: "You can't tell what's crazy and so we encourage crazy. I often suspend disbelief and listen to a story that sounds crazy and impossible."

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