14 Mar 2009

Gore sees climate change tipping point

3:06 pm on 14 March 2009

Former US vice-president Al Gore is optimistic that a global deal to combat climate change will be agreed at a summit in December.

In an interview with the British newspaper the Guardian, Mr Gore said he thought the world had reached a "political tipping point" and would reach agreement when negotiators from nearly 200 nations convene in Copenhagen to decide what will replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2012.

"There is a very impressive consensus now emerging around the world that the solutions to the economic crisis are also the solutions to the climate crisis," said Mr Gore, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his campaign against global warming.

"I actually think we will get an agreement at Copenhagen."

Business leaders 'seeing the writing on every wall'

One of the main reasons for Gore's optimism is the election of US President Barack Obama, but he also detects a crucial change in perception among business leaders.

"They're seeing the writing on every wall they look at," he said.

"They're seeing the complete disappearance of the polar icecaps right before their eyes in just a few years."

Plus, Mr Gore said, "They're seeing the new US administration. They're seeing (British Prime Minister) Gordon Brown and (main opposition leader) David Cameron both advocating dramatic changes here in the UK."