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Al Gore attacks George Osborne’s ‘short-sighted’ approach to climate

Former US Vice-President Al Gore


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Al Gore attacks George Osborne’s ‘short-sighted’ approach to climate” was written by Jessica Shankleman for BusinessGreen, part of the Guardian Environment Network, for theguardian.com on Friday 1st February 2013 12.06 UTC

Al Gore, the former US Vice President, has accused Chancellor George Osborne of taking a “short-sighted” approach to climate change and green economic growth, warning that businesses increasingly want to see ambitious action on global warming.

Speaking to tonight’s Channel 4 News, Gore, who won a Nobel Prize for his role as climate campaigner, said the UK government was making “a terrible mistake” by diluting its commitment to environmental issues.

“There were such hopeful signs when Prime Minister Cameron came into power,” he said. “I have worried there are influences in his party that have backed him off [action on climate change].

“But I don’t give up hope and I think it’s a cause for optimism that in the UK and United States solid majorities of people want to see this issue dealt with.”

Responding to Osborne’s anti-green rhetoric, specifically a claim in 2011, that “we’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business“, Gore said it was “short-sighted indeed” to believe the future of business and the future of the environment were in conflict.

“They are not,” he said. “We can create millions of new jobs by leading this transition towards renewable energy sources, much higher levels of efficiency and recycling and sustainable capitalism.

“Anyone who proposes a direct conflict between the health of business and the health of the planet and environment in a great country like the United Kingdom is seriously misinformed. Business suffers from flooding, from droughts and wind storms and sustainable business prosperity really has to be based on a view of the future that is grounded in facts.”

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