Al Gore sees the world on ‘tipping point’ for climate action

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  • Rising power prices pushing governments to decarbonise
  • Gore cites more action in the United States and Australia
  • Says optimistic about further action in Brazil, China

LONDON, September 21 (Reuters) – (This September 20 story has been resubmitted to correct typo in the second bullet point)

The world is at a “positive tipping point” in the fight against climate change as rising oil and gas costs push governments to decarbonise faster, former US vice president and co-founder of Generation Investment Management Al Gore told Reuters .

He pointed to the Inflation Reduction Act signed in August, a $430 billion bill seen as the biggest climate package in US history, and to a commitment from Australia earlier this month to cut carbon emissions by 43% by 2030. and reduce it to zero by 2030. 2050. read more

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Gore also said he expected Brazil to change its climate policy after the upcoming elections and that China would resume dialogue with US President Joe Biden at the November G20 summit in Indonesia.

He added, however, that he was concerned about steps taken by some countries to increase fossil fuel production in light of the war in Ukraine, which Russia calls a “special military operation” that hurt oil and gas prices. to rise.

“There is no such thing as a clean fossil fuel, just as there is no such thing as a healthy cigarette,” Gore said. “We don’t want to invest in fossil fuel infrastructure of the kind that A/ won’t alleviate the short-term problem and B/ will guarantee higher emission levels for decades to come.”

“There are signs” of the pace of change absolutely all over the world, he noted, adding that the need to act was also driven by deteriorating weather conditions.

“Mother Nature has joined the discussion about the climate crisis,” Gore said, referring to heat waves in China, floods in Pakistan and drought in Europe.

Gore, vice president of the United States from 1993 to 2001, became known for his advocacy for climate change with his 2006 Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and its 2017 sequel, in which he argues that the fight against climate change is a moral struggle.

Co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his climate campaigns, he is chairman of Generation Investment Management, a London-headquartered firm that focuses on sustainable investment in both public and private markets, as well as research.

Among the steps being taken to accelerate the energy transition, some governments have chosen to replace existing fossil fuel plants with decades left to live as renewable electricity becomes cheaper, he said, while others are looking to ban them. fossil fuel-powered cars and trucks.

“At a time when technology (…) is generating three times as many jobs per dollar invested as fossil fuel investments, that all adds up to a very positive, tangible tipping point for me.”

In Generation’s latest annual sustainability trends report, published Wednesday, the company said annual investments in the clean economy are on track to exceed $1 trillion in the coming years.

While that still falls short of the levels needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average, it added that it rose “at a solid clip”.

($1 = 1,0048 euros)

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Reporting by Juliette Portala, editing by Simon Jessop, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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