Former Vice President Al Gore said on Tuesday that the Trump administration is “tongue tied” on the climate change, “because the truth about the climate crisis is still inconvenient” for fossil-fuel polluters, who “unfortunately have a lot of influence” over Trump’s administration.
Gore told Anderson Cooper in the interview that Trump has “surrounded himself with a rogue’s gallery of climate deniers.”
Speaking to Trump’s move in June to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord, Gore said, at one point, he believed Trump might not follow through with it — partially due to his previous meetings with Trump.
“I actually did feel there was a real chance that he might come to his senses and stay in the Paris agreement,” Gore told Cooper. He added, “the conversation continued when he went into the White House, and I had reason to believe he might really decide to stay in.”
Gore said some people in Trump’s inner circle “definitely” wanted Trump to maintain the US’ position in the Paris agreement. It is believed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner favoured that move.
Trump met with multiple climate-change activists in December, including Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio. Terry Tamminen, head of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, echoed similar statements to Business Insider in March. Tamminen said that at their meeting with Trump — where he and the DiCaprio presented information about how environmental decisions would benefit the economy — “everything we showed him that was a climate solution he liked.”
Tamminen said Trump “seemed very enthusiastic to learn more about these things” and sought to have their economic proposals potentially integrated in his infrastructure plan.
Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord on June 1.
Gore told Cooper on Tuesday that it “concerned” him that Trump withdrew the US from the agreement because he was worried other countries might use it as an excuse to pull out themselves. He said he was encouraged when other countries that signed onto the agreement doubled down on their commitments in response to Trump’s withdrawal.
Gore also tipped his hat to the US governors, mayors, and businesses that participated in the We Are Still In movement to continue to meet Paris agreement goals.
“It looks like we have a real chance in the US of meeting the terms of the Paris agreement, regardless of what Trump does,” Gore said.
Watch a portion of Gore’s interview below:
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