Al Gore brimmed with infectious optimism as he talked to Global Citizen at the UK premiere of "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power."

The former US vice president, who served with President Bill Clinton, spoke with a single-minded confidence learned from decades fighting as a climate change revolutionary. But Gore’s message of hope is far from naive – it’s delivered with the same factual urgency that first thrust his movement into the limelight when his first film, "An Inconvenient Truth," was released in 2006.

“I hope that the members of Global Citizen will make climate a priority, because all the other challenges we face depend on solutions to the climate crisis,” Gore told us. “With the Paris agreement a year and a half ago, virtually the entire world has committed to reduce global warming pollution to net zero by mid-century.”

But “virtually” is not everyone, and the elephant in the room needs no introduction. On June 1 President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Paris accords, an historic global agreement to unify against the threat of climate change and ambitiously reduce carbon emissions.

Global Citizen campaigns to support the Global Goals, including Global Goal 13, Climate Action. You can take action here.

It’s a tough topic at the heart of the movie’s story. But at July’s G20 Summit in Hamburg, world leaders pulled together once more as a union, coined the “G19”, and strongly reaffirmed their commitment. Even in America, representatives are rebelling against Trump to join the global green movement.

“Donald Trump tried to pull out but the USA is going to stay in without him – the governors, mayors, and business leaders are going to meet the commitments anyway,” Gore said. “So I’m very excited about it. The solutions are available now, we just need to implement them. What we need is political will, but political will is itself a renewable resource.”

What we need is political will, but political will is itself a renewable resource.

Al Gore

The premiere kicked off the Film4 Summer Screen series at London’s Somerset House, with thousands of cinema-goers prepared with pillows and blankets to watch the film under the stars on the capital’s largest outdoor screen. Gore spoke before and after the screening to a rapturous reception as he reassured the crowd in no uncertain terms: “We’re going to win this.” And all over the world, even the most unlikely of places are warming to his ideas.

“Now a lot of cities are going 100% renewable, including a place like Georgetown, Texas, which is billed as the most conservative, Republican city in Texas – and they’ve already gone 100% renewable,” Gore said. “More and more cities are doing that. Pittsburgh, cited by President Trump in his infamous speech on June 1, spoke up and said ‘wait a minute – we’re still in the Paris agreement and we’re going 100% renewable.’”

In 2006, "The Inconvenient Truth" became the first documentary ever to win multiple Oscars. The following year, Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. It felt like the first moment that the world really woke up to the brutal realities of climate change. But in 2017, the debate that rages around climate change is frustratingly still just that – an argument. Who can help win it?

“Young people generally, are often surprisingly in the vanguard of these crucial social and political revolutions,” Gore continued. “They’re sometimes unencumbered by the barnacles of misconception that older people develop over time. They see this clearly. Every night, the news now is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation. People are connecting the dots – Mother Nature is very persuasive. And now we have the solutions we need to get on with them.”

Every night, the news now is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation.

Al Gore

Against the rising tide of climate denial, Al Gore must stand firm as the immovable optimist. It’s the only way to win the argument, he says, and protect the future of the beautiful planet we call home.

"An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" is out now globally, and is released in the UK on August 18. But for one night only, the film will be screened across British cinemas on August 11 featuring a live streamed conversation with Al Gore himself. Purchase your ticket your ticket here.


Defend the Planet

This Is Why Al Gore Is Full of Hope for the Future - And Why You Should Be Too

By James Hitchings-Hales