President Donald Trump may yet decide not to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, the international accord to reduce the impact of climate change, according to Al Gore, the former U.S. Vice President.
"First of all, I think there is still a realistic chance that President Trump will decide not to pull the United States out of the Paris agreement. That decision has not been made," Gore said, speaking at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London on Thursday.
"But there is an active debate in his inner circle. I have some visibility to that debate, I don't know what's going to happen, but I think there's still a chance that he will not pull out of the Paris agreement," he added.
President Trump has previously called climate change a hoax, with Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, earlier this month telling CNBC's Squawk Box that he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney last week said the Trump administration is reducing spending on climate change because it is "a waste of your money."
Gore today credited state initiatives for moving quickly on renewable energy. "The state of California. The state of New York. Quite a few other state governments now have the bit in their teeth and they are moving much faster than the former President Obama's Clean Power Plan would have had moved anyway.
"There is a growing list of cities in the U.S. that have decided to go to 100 percent renewable energy. Another one just achieved renewable energy, two weeks ago, in Georgetown Texas, a fair sized city in Texas," he said.
Climate change and political instability
Gore also said that climate change has had an impact on populations moving due to drought, which in turn has contributed to political instability.
"From 2006 to 2010, 60 percent of the farms in Syria were destroyed and had to be abandoned. 80 percent of the livestock were killed. The drought in the eastern Mediterranean is the worst ever recorded.
"The records only go back 900 years but it's historic and 1.5 million climate refugees were driven into the cities of Syria, where they collided with another million and a half refugees from the Iraq War and WikiLeaks revealed the internal conversations in the Syrian government, where they were saying 'we can't handle this. There's going to be a social explosion.'"
He also linked climate change and Brexit, saying: "So there are the causes of the civil war there, but this was the principle one...And it has unleashed with other factors this incredible flow of refugees into Europe, which is creating political instability in Europe, and which contributed in some ways to the desire of some in the U.K. to say 'wow, we're not sure we want to be a part of that anymore.'"
Gore was in London to discuss An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power, the follow-up to his 2006 Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth.