July 15, 2009

Gore Meets With Australian PM To Discuss Climate Change

Al Gore met with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Wednesday to discuss the future of the nation's role in the charge against global warming.

Gore placed specific emphasis on Australia as a potential breeding ground for many revolutionary efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

"Australia is in the line of fire where the climate crisis is concerned, no nation is more vulnerable to the impact scientists have predicted," Gore said in a press conference where he was joined by the Prime Minister Rudd.

"And no nation has greater renewable energy resources and a greater capacity to develop alternative sources of energy and contribute to a solution for the climate crisis."

Rudd, who took on the role of prime minister in 2007, agreed with Gore's comments, stating that he was "absolutely right."

"Australia is the driest continent on Earth," said Rudd.

"Therefore the impact of climate change here will be felt earlier and harder than in all other continents in the world, that's the bottom line.

"We have a huge national interest in action on climate change, which is as much environmental as it is economic."

The meeting between the current Australian prime minister and the former US vice president comes just months before the December UN climate conference in Copenhagen, where officials are expected to form a new treaty to continue after the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol.

Gore said he is "optimistic about the possibility of a successful outcome at Copenhagen."

"We're making progress, there was a bit of progress at (the recent G8 summit in) L'Aquila and there's been progress here in Australia and in my country," he added.

Last week, the Group of Eight top nations announced an agreement to keep the world's average temperature from reaching higher than 2C (3.6F) as well as a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

The announcement is unprecedented, but the terms of the agreement as to how they will reach such historic goals are still unclear.

In May, Rudd vowed to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions 20 25 percent from 2000 levels by 2020, according to AFP. However, he said he would only adhere to that goal if other top world leaders would agree to an "ambitious" goal in Copenhagen.