Monday, May 24, 2010

"Tony Blair to Join Khosla Ventures"

I'm guessing it's not for his biochemistry expertise.
Like Al Gore at Kleiner Perkins, Nick Stern at IDEAGlobal (parent of IDEACarbon), Blair's former science adviser, David King at UBS these guys define "Political Capitalism".
From the New York Times:
Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, is turning his attention to Silicon Valley. Mr. Blair will become a senior adviser at Khosla Ventures, the venture capital firm founded by Vinod Khosla, an entrepreneur, investor and proponent of green technology.

The announcement was made Monday at Khosla Ventures’ summit for its limited partners, which are the endowments, pension funds and foundations that invest in the firm.

Khosla Ventures, which Mr. Khosla founded in 2004 after leaving the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is currently investing $1.1 billion in clean technology and information technology companies.

Mr. Blair will offer strategic advice on public policy to the firm’s green portfolio companies. They include Calera, a manufacturer that uses carbon emissions to create cement products, and Kior, which converts wood chips into biofuels.

“I am increasingly and crucially aware of the fact that the answer to these twin challenges — climate change and energy security — lies in developing the technological solutions of the future,” Mr. Blair said.

Mr. Blair worked on international climate change policy as prime minister, and now leads the “Breaking the Climate Deadlock” effort, through which he aims to help build a framework for international climate policy.

Khosla Ventures, based in Menlo Park, Calif., generally invests between $5 million and $15 million in technology start-ups, and also invests smaller amounts, around $2 million, in what Mr. Khosla calls “science experiments” — green-technology ideas that are so risky and early-stage that they will likely fail.

“We are not trying to do incremental things,” Mr. Khosla said. “We are trying to do things that are the stuff of dreams.”>>>MORE

In "The Government/Carbon Trade Revolving Door" we took a quick look at some of Mr. Blair's activities:

We've been posting on this phenomena for a while now. Most folks are aware of Al Gore's riches (although he canceled his Copenhagen speaking engagement and has to refund the $1200/head that he was charging) but it is the British who are flooding the field. There's Tony Blair:

Profit of Boom: Insurance job takes Blair's earnings above £7m

Kids, Some of These Green-Collar Jobs Pay Pretty Well

...According to details of his schedule obtained by The Sunday Times, Blair’s upcoming commitments include the climate conference in Abu Dhabi on January 21, a university talk near Boston on February 2 and a trip to a California theatre where tickets cost up to $380 each.

Blair ranks as the most expensive speaker in the world. His agents at the Washington Speakers Bureau typically charge $250,000 (£164,000) for a 90-minute speech.

He is also paid about £2m a year by JP Morgan Chase [climate change -ed.] and a further £500,000 a year by Zurich Financial Services [climate change -ed.]....
These Greencollar jobs do indeed pay well.
Last year the Daily Mail ran a story, '
"Now Tony Blair finally has the private jet he's always wanted (even if it is rented)":

Tony Blair may have been forced to scrap plans to buy a fleet of planes dubbed ‘Blair Force One’ when he was in No10, but it seems the would-be President of Europe is still determined to travel in style.

The former Prime Minister has taken to hiring top-of-the-range Gulfstream private jets to transport him and his entourage as he carries out his current portfolio of jobs, which include adviser to the Rwandan government and representative of the Quartet, the international organisation involved in negotiating peace between Israel and Palestine.

The American-made jet, a favourite toy of billionaires, has a top speed of over 500mph and can seat around 19 people in its luxurious 45ft cabin.

Tony Blair

International high flyer: Tony Blair on board his Gulfstream V privatejet

It was one of the models Mr Blair’s Government considered buying in 2005 for ministerial use, before public outrage at the £80million cost saw the project being rejected by Parliament.

Since leaving office Mr Blair has used a number of Gulfstream planes, including a South African-registered Gulfstream V jet based at Luton Airport.

In November last year he is believed to have hired a Gulfstream IV owned by British-based banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild for a three-day return trip to Rwanda at an estimated cost of £83,000, including fuel.