Al Gore Denounces Fossil Fuel Industry’s Control over UN’s Climate Agenda, Igniting Controversy

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Former US vice-president and environmental advocate Al Gore has strongly criticized the fossil fuel industry for having too much influence over global UN climate change negotiations.

Gore claims that it is time to recognize that oil and gas companies, as well as petrostates, are not acting in good faith during the UN process, which culminates in the upcoming COP28 summit in the United Arab Emirates. He believes that most companies in this sector are committed to supporting the sale and use of fossil fuels and will obstruct any efforts to decrease their consumption.

As an example, Gore pointed out that one of the largest oil companies in the world appointed its CEO as the president of COP28, which he believes represents the capture of the UN process by the fossil fuel industry.

These statements contrast with the perspective of US climate envoy John Kerry, who believes that the involvement of industry executives in COP28 is necessary to drive change.

Gore argues that reform is needed within the UN climate negotiations process, as the current system allows one country to veto a proposal even if the majority supports it, hindering global progress.

Regardless of these concerns, Gore remains optimistic about the political landscape surrounding climate change. He cites recent actions such as the US’s $369bn climate action plan, the EU’s Green Deal and carbon tax, and changes in political leadership in countries like Australia and Brazil as evidence of progress towards solving the climate crisis.

Gore acknowledges the challenges and pushback that have been faced surrounding carbon taxes, recounting his experience during the Bill Clinton administration. However, he sees hope in the rollout of Europe’s carbon border adjustment mechanism and believes it could pave the way for a more global approach to carbon pricing.

A report by Generation Investment Management, which Gore co-founded and chairs, predicts that wind and solar energy will meet all new energy demand in the near future. The report also projects increased adoption of heat pumps and electric vehicles.

Gore concludes by stating that he is more optimistic than ever, but he remains aware of the difficulties that lie ahead.

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