Al Gore Pushes Climate Action at Davos World Economic Forum: ‘The Survival of Our Civilization Is at Stake Here’

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, chairman and president of Generation Investment Management LLP, speaks during a panel session on day two of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 48th annual meeting of …
Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The global economy was not the only topic on the agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week. During a breakout session on Thursday, former vice president and climate change zealot Al Gore spoke on a panel entitled “Stepping Up Climate Action.”

“The survival of our civilization is at stake here, and people are becoming aware of it, and the change is beginning to accelerate, but we have to translate that into political change,” Gore said.

Gore began his remarks by saying that despite President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, leaders across the country were committed to it.

Gore said:

Not to be too U.S.-centric, but, you know, our president is going to speak here tomorrow, and I have no comment on that, but I will say this: several governors of our largest states, hundreds of cities, and thousands of U.S. businesses are now ensuring that the U.S. will not only meet, but exceed the commitments it made under the Paris agreement.

He praised the only governor among them to attend the forum, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who is trying to impose a carbon tax on the state.

Gore also claimed that the U.S. president cannot legally exit the agreement until after the 2020 election, which he pronounced while making a mock prayer about its results.

“From the beginning of this struggle to solve the climate crisis and the steadily increasing awareness that this is an existential threat to the survival of human civilization,” Gore said.

Gore called the Paris agreement a “fantastic” agreement signed onto by “every nation in the world.”

But if the U.S. remains committed to leaving the agreement, it will be one of three countries on board. Syria and Nicaragua have not joined.

According to the United Nations, 174 of the 197 countries in the agreement have ratified their participation.

The forum’s website featured a page highlighting the promotion of climate change at the event:

  • India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that climate change is the “greatest threat to civilization.”
  • French President Emmanuel Macron announced France would shut down all coal-fired power stations by 2021 and would make climate action one of five pillars in his plans to reform the economy.
  • Thomas Buberl, head of global insurance company AXA, told participants that climate change had become a reality for the insurance industry and a global warming scenario of 3-4 C temperature increase “would not be insurable.” He announced that AXA would no longer insure coal projects and was also divesting from coal.

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