5 Dec 2017

Gore to PM: 'You're a breath of fresh air'

8:12 pm on 5 December 2017

Former US Vice-President Al Gore says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is a breath of fresh air.

Former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore.

Former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore. Photo: AFP / Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Mr Gore interviewed Ms Ardern this evening as part of his live global event - '24 Hours of Reality'.

The campaigner told her he was thrilled to hear her talk about climate change as soon as she was elected Prime Minister.

"I loved it that right away after your election you announced your plans to take on the climate crisis - I loved that!"

He asked her about her Government's plans to tackle climate change, and about her speech at APEC, where she said the climate challenge was the crisis of this generation.

Jacinda Ardern at the VNZMAs

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

She told him she wanted to take the politics out of the climate change debate in New Zealand.

"There are certain issues in which I hope that as electoral cycles move, we'll see less of it becoming just the flavour of the month for that government, but not for the next because we'll never get consistency around the actions that we take.

"That's why in some of the things, the infrastructure we want to establish as a new Government, the zero carbon act, the climate commission, we want them to be unanimous if we can, in our Parliament.

"We want them to have some independence from a political environment so we as political agents can continue to be held to account in the actions that we take regardless of which political movement or party is in power."

Mr Gore said that was a smart move.

"I so hope that you are successful in that, we have tried really hard in my country to take this out of the partisan political framing, it's just silly to make it a partisan issue.

"We share the same future, we share the same earth ... I'm going to be watching very closely."

Ms Ardern explained the coalition government and that all those parties agreed it was time for New Zealand to move past just having greenhouse gas reduction targets into the planning regime so that the targets become a reality.

"We want the climate commission to do carbon budgeting for us over a five year period to help us achieve interim goals on our way to zero carbon by 2050."