Al Gore Sees Bipartisanship Returning in Fight on Climate Change

(Bloomberg) -- Climate change used to be a bipartisan issue, and legislators in Congress are getting closer to finding the center on environmental issues again despite the Trump administration’s efforts to halt progress, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said.

“Even people who don’t like to use the term ‘climate crisis,’ they say, ‘Well, this weather’s sure getting weird,’" Gore said Thursday at the Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit in Seattle. “The scale of the climate crisis is far beyond what people can comprehend -- areas around the world will become uninhabitable and will see a large influx of climate refugees.”

Gore reminded the audience that the U.S. is still technically part of the Paris Agreement on climate change, as it will take years to complete the withdrawal announced by President Donald Trump. The former vice president highlighted the efforts of the bipartisan "Noah’s ark" climate solutions caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“We are very close to a governing majority on climate in the House and the Senate,” said Gore, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with a United Nations panel on the environment for raising awareness of the threat from climate change.

He also endorsed a ballot initiative in Washington state that would create a state-wide pollution tax to protect the environment. The measure will be up for a vote in November.

Gore, who is chairman of Generation Investment Management, a sustainability-focused investment firm he co-founded in 2004 with former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive David Blood, said he sees great opportunity in business and politicians continuing to push for a greener economy.

“Our view is that the world is in the early stages of a sustainability revolution that has the impact and scale of industrial revolution at the speed of the digital revolution," Gore said. “We are going to succeed at the sustainability revolution and for those that doubt we have the political will to accomplish it -- remember -- political will is also a renewable resource.”

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