Al Gore: These are the skills climate leaders must build now

Tackling climate change isn’t about changing lightbulbs. It’s about changing policies.

That’s one of the key messages Al Gore wants to stress two years into what he sees as the critical decade of action to stave off climate change disaster.

“The actions that our leaders take right now, this year, and over the next eight years, will determine whether we’re able to keep,” goals in reach, he told the Meet The Leader podcast.

Gore, a Nobel laureate and former US vice president, has been a tireless climate advocate throughout his career and has been one of the most effective communicators on the subject.

Knowing that grassroots leaders need support and training, he founded the Climate Reality Project in 2005. Through this group he’s personally trained nearly 50,000 people around the world on the practical skills needed to engage networks – and educate policy makers.

Here’s the transcript from the podcast where Gore discusses the need for urgent action and the tipping points ahead. Discover, too, how he’s changed as a leader, the tools he’s found most effective in deepening his understanding of a complex topic like climate action, and the advice he’d give himself if he could start all over again.

Episode transcript
Meet the Leader/Linda Lacina: We’re two years into the ‘Decade of Action’. How are we doing?

Al Gore: That’s a loaded question. Uh, let me take a step back and start by explaining why so many people are saying this decade is so crucial for climate action. Over the last couple of years we’ve heard many leaders from all around the world make pledges to achieve net zero global warming pollution emissions by 2050. And that 2050 timeline is aligned with the latest science and the goal of the historic Paris Agreement in 2015. And if we reach net zero by 2050, we will be able to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius and the Earth’s temperatures will stop going up once we reach net zero with a lag time of as little as three to five years. But here’s the catch: the science is very clear that we will only be able to achieve that goal if we cut our current emissions in half by 2030 over the next eight years. What that means is that the actions that our leaders take right now, this year, and over the next eight years, will determine whether we’re able to keep that 2050 goal within reach.

Read the rest of the transcript or listen to the podcast at the World Economic Forum.