Former Vice President Al Gore emphasizes the crucial role of grassroots pressure in combating climate change. During CNN’s “State of the Union” special episode, “A Climate Warning,” Gore spoke about the urgency of the issue and the need for political will and moral courage to address it.
Gore quoted Jean-Claude Juncker, the former president of the European Commission, who stated, “We all know what to do; we just don’t know how to be reelected if we do it.” This highlights the challenges politicians face when advocating for climate action. Gore believes that grassroots pressure from individuals who understand the high stakes is essential in overcoming these challenges.
As a longtime climate activist and founder of the Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the climate crisis, Gore stressed the importance of people rising and demanding action. He referred to a recent CNN poll, which revealed that 73 percent of U.S. adults believe the federal government should develop climate policies to reduce the country’s warming pollution by 50 percent by the decade’s end.
To achieve these goals, Gore believes it is necessary to break the political power of the fossil fuel industry. He criticized the influence of lobbyists, financial contributions, and revolving-door colleagues within the industry. Gore called for a collective effort to overcome this influence and push for meaningful change.
When asked about his vision for 2024, Gore offered hope. He explained that temperatures will cease to rise if we reach “true net zero” and stop adding greenhouse gas pollutants to the atmosphere. However, he emphasized the need to address big fossil fuel polluters’ greed and political power to realize this vision.
Gore also expressed concerns about the United Nations Conference of Parties’ (COP) decision-making process, particularly its requirement for unanimous consensus. He argued that the person in charge of the process should not have a direct conflict of interest. Gore believes it is crucial to move beyond fossil fuels and accelerate the transition to renewable energy and efficiency.
In a recent interview, Gore criticized the appointment of Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, the CEO of the United Arab Emirates’ national oil and gas company, as the host of the COP28 climate summit. He argued that this decision undermined public trust and called for more responsible leadership in addressing the climate crisis.
Gore’s message is clear: grassroots pressure, public demand, and reforming existing systems are essential for curbing climate change and creating a sustainable future.