Al Gore praises Scotland’s commitment to low carbon economy

28 September 2011

Climate change campaigner and Nobel Laureate Al Gore today praised Scotland’s commitment to renewables and the low carbon economy and said it was offering leadership to the world.

In a keynote speech at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh, the former US Vice President described Scotland’s example as “inspiring”.

Al Gore met earlier with Alex Salmond for breakfast at the First Minister’s official residence at Bute House to discuss a range of issues around work to tackle climate change and promote low carbon innovation and investment.

In a wide-ranging and detailed presentation at the conference, Mr Gore repeatedly praised Scotland. He said: “Alex Salmond has been inspiring in his determination to realise the opportunity Scotland has.”

Later he said: “The world could follow the lead of Scotland and makes it happen. Thank God for Scotland and its leadership.” Its example could “galvanise action” elsewhere, he added.

After the breakfast meeting, Mr Salmond said: “I was delighted to welcome former Vice President Gore and to discuss with him how Scotland is working to accelerate the growth of our renewables and low carbon industries, to reduce emissions and make a substantial contribution to tackling the damaging global impacts of climate change. Scotland’s growing position as a green energy powerhouse for Europe is gaining substantial international recognition.

“We face a moral obligation to act against growing climate chaos and a clear economic imperative to avoid much greater future costs and these are issues which Mr Gore has worked tirelessly and consistently to communicate to governments, corporations and citizens across the world. His leadership in this area can provide great encouragement and impetus to delegates attending this week’s conference as we work together to build a sustainable future for the planet and for the generations that follow us.”

Before his speech, Mr Gore said: “I admire and applaud the First Minister’s leadership in promoting the development of renewable energy, efficiency and sharp reductions in CO2 emissions. His government and private companies based in Scotland are providing inspiration to others in many parts of the world.”

Mr Gore, who served as Vice President of the United States with President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2006 for his work to increase knowledge about and promote actions to counteract man-made climate change. A documentary about his work, entitled ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, won an Oscar in 2007.

Mr Gore is a founder and current chair of the Alliance for Climate Protection, the co-founder and chair of Generation Investment Management, and a member of the Board of Directors of Apple Inc. Gore is also a partner in the venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, heading that firm’s climate change solutions group.

At a later conference session, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise Lena Wilson said great things were happening in Scotland and there was excellent collaboration across the public and private sector. However, she warned against “complacency and back slapping” and said there was still a “big hearts and minds job” to be done in persuading the public of the benefits of renewables and the low carbon economy.

Watch a short video of a recent talk on climate change given by Al Gore in New York.

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