Al Gore’s climate change documentary sequel released in the UK

Former US Vice President Al Gore has arrived in the UK to address how the perils of climate change can be overcome as he promotes his new documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.

The film is a follow-up to his blockbuster 2006 global warming film, An Inconvenient Truth. It was a massive box office hit. His new film hammers home the same message as his first film.

He was Vice President for eight years under former US President Bill Clinton.

The film ends with scenes of triumph, with world leaders signing the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which commits the world to a path of decarbonisation.  The film also addresses US President Donald Trump’s election victory and decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Gore featured on the BBC’s Radio Four Today programme on 10 August, 2017. The presenter asked Gore “how big a problem is Donald Trump?’”

Gore replied: “Well, it turns out that he is probably less of a problem than I had feared when he made his announcement that the US would pull out of the Paris Agreement because even though I was concerned that other countries would use that as an excuse to pull out themselves, the very next day the entire world redoubled their commitments to the Paris Agreement.

“In addition, our largest states and hundreds of cities and business leaders said that we were still in the Paris Agreement and we are going to meet the commitments regardless of Donald Trump.”

He said the US would still be committed to its climate change commitments and there had been a sharp drop in the cost of solar electricity and wind electricity and the introduction of electric cars and batteries are coming down in cost.

“Lots of cities in the US have now committed to 100% renewable energy. The movie highlights a very conservative Republican city in the heart of oil country in Texas. They found that they could reduce electricity bills by going 100% renewable. It’s a side benefit - they are helping to save the future of humanity. ”

Meagre subsidies

In relation to subsidies, he said: “The subsidies for fossil fuels are much higher than the meagre subsidies for renewable energy. The UK now gets more electricity from wind then from coal.

“The central point is that these technologies for renewables are coming down continually in cost and the world gets more energy from the sun in one hour than the entire global economy uses for the entire year. As the cost continues to go down we are seeing dramatic cost (reductions), mostly in developing countries like India and China.”

The Radio Four presenter asks Gore if there is still a need for films like his.  He said: “I was reading somewhere that 40% of all articles casting doubt on climate change mention you by name. I just wondered to what extent that you may be part of the problem by being so passionate and so committed with films like this. In addition, with films like this there is an economic case with some people including Republicans who do not think you are quite right on the (arguments you make) with man-made climate change…”

Gore replied: “The economic case is growing for sure. There are two big changes since the first movie came out a decade ago. First, the solutions are here now but they need to be implemented more quickly. The second big change is that the climate related extreme weather events have become far more numerous and far more destructive. Mother nature is the chief advocate for fighting the climate crisis now.”

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is released In UK cinemas ono 18 August, 2017.

This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Biofuels International and Bioenergy Insight. 

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