Former Vice President Al Gore denounced President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord Thursday, calling it “a reckless and indefensible action” that “undermines America’s standing in the world and threatens to damage humanity’s ability to solve the climate crisis in time.”
In a forceful statement posted to Gore’s personal website and social media accounts, he also pledged that “if President Trump won’t lead, the American people will.”
Gore, whose climate change documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power hits theaters next month, continued, “Civic leaders, mayors, governors, CEOs, investors, and the majority of the business community will take up this challenge. We are in the middle of a clean energy revolution that no single person or group can stop. President Trump’s decision is profoundly in conflict with what the majority of Americans want from our president; but no matter what he does, we will ensure that our inevitable transition to a clean energy economy continues.”
The former veep has long been a leading voice in the fight against global warming, publishing the book Earth in the Balance in 1992 and starring in the original An Inconvenient Truth in 2006. Speaking to EW recently about the film’s sequel, Gore said, “We’re still in a moment that’s pregnant with the possibility for great change. And I’m completely convinced we’re going to win this.”
Gore’s sentiments Thursday were echoed by David Linde, the CEO of Participant Films, which produced An Inconvenient Sequel, and the documentary’s directors, Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk.
“Removing the United States from the Paris Agreement is a blow to our collective ability to fight the climate crisis in time, Linde said in a statement. “But there is an incredible momentum towards solutions to the climate crisis — new technologies exist and are being deployed, overwhelming public support exists for climate action, markets are rewarding clean energy, and of course, global political leaders outside the U.S. will maintain their course under the Paris Agreement. No matter what happens, our job is to keep the momentum moving forward as quickly as we can, regardless of what stands in our path.”
Cohen and Shenk said in their own statement, “We were shocked and disappointed to hear President Trump’s announcement today regarding withdrawing the U.S. from the historic international deal reached in Paris. In our new film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power we filmed behind-the-scenes in Paris to show the hard work, finesse, and passion that went into making the agreement happen. We hope that the hard work of those who made the deal happen will not be in vain. The good news is that there is a great deal to be hopeful about. The technology exists to create enough clean energy for the world economy and to avoid total climate catastrophe. Now that President Trump is pledging to do less to keep America’s commitment to the world, we must all step up to do more to ensure the health of our planet.”