Politics

Al Gore Thinks Trump Will Lose and Climate Activists Will Triumph

Former Vice President Al Gore was in New York City over the weekend for a leadership training convened by the Climate Reality Project, his nonprofit organization.

On Saturday, before thousands of attendees, Mr. Gore highlighted mounting climate perils but also spoke of progress. He slammed fossil fuel companies for ramping up plastics production and promoting technology to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which he called “utterly preposterous.”

Afterward, Mr. Gore explained in an interview why he was not surprised that major oil and gas companies have walked back their pledges to decarbonize. And he said he believed that former President Donald J. Trump would lose his campaign to return to the White House. Here are excerpts from that conversation, edited and condensed for clarity.

Oil and gas companies recently gathered in Houston for the industry’s annual conference. Many of the major companies have walked back their promises to decarbonize. In Houston, the head of Saudi Aramco said the “fantasy of phasing out oil and gas” should be ditched.

I don’t think their pledges were sincere in the first place. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there was this pinch in Europe’s access to fossil fuels which translated into a crunch and in demand elsewhere in the world. There was a sudden surge to try to replace the Russian supplies. That had a global impact on the price of fossil fuels, and on the profits of the large companies.

When they got a taste of these higher windfall profits, they came under pressure from their investors to capitalize while the getting was good. So they just decided en masse to abandon their pledges and just go forward, without regard to what they had pretended to be doing in the past. I think it was always a fraud. It remains to be seen whether they are going to be able to walk back their pledges without incurring significant damage politically and in the business community.

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