News

Al Gore on what Canadians can do to fight climate change

The former U.S. vice-president praised Canada for its commitment to the Paris agreement and offered advice on how to combat climate change ahead of the debut of his film An Inconvenient Sequel.

An Inconvenient Sequel opens in theatres August 4

Al Gore said he has no plans to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump again to persuade him to recommit the country to the Paris climate agreement. (CBC)

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore commended Canada for its commitment to the Paris climate accord during a Facebook live Q&A hosted by CBC's Andrew Chang Friday.

"Justin Trudeau and the Canadian government [were] really instrumental in getting the Paris agreement ... It really is beginning to drive fantastic solutions around the world."

Gore called the agreement a "game changer," and expressed his frustration over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the deal.

He said he worried it would influence other world leaders to do the same, "but in the aftermath, the entire rest of the world redoubled their commitments to the Paris agreement, almost as if they were saying, 'We'll show you Mr. Donald Trump.'"

Gore said he has no plans to meet with Trump again, after his efforts late last year failed to convince the president to keep the previous government's commitment.

"I'm done holding my breath for him to change his mind. I don't know how his mind operates," said Gore.  

An Inconvenient Sequel

The former politician-turned-environmental activist is touring his upcoming film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, 11 years after the original, An Inconvenient Truth, made its controversial debut.

Gore said two things have changed since then: Climate-related extreme weather events, such as the B.C. wildfires, have become more common, and solutions to the crisis are now more affordable.

Still, the world has a long way to go, he warned. While the Paris agreement sent a powerful signal to the business community that protecting the Earth is a priority, many companies are failing to scale back their carbon footprint.

"What's missing is enough political will. But political will is itself a renewable resource," said Gore.

When asked what Canada can do to reduce pollution and environmental damage around the world, he suggested much of what's already known: shifting to renewable energy, driving electric vehicles, and moving to organic, sustainable agriculture and sustainable forestry.

The advice he emphasized most for combatting climate change? Learn about it.

"When you learn about it, then use that knowledge to win the conversations on climate. If you win the conversation, then the laws and policies change."

Chang's interview with Gore airs July 24 on The National.

Click here to see the full Facebook Live or watch below:

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power opens in Canadian theatres Aug. 4.

now