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Al Gore: Trump won’t change his mind on Paris climate deal

Photo: Chuck Kennedy/Axios

Al Gore predicted at an Axios event Tuesday that President Trump won’t reverse course about withdrawing America from the Paris climate deal.

Why it matters: The insight from the former vice president and long-time climate activist offers a blunt state-of-play almost a year after Trump announced he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris deal.

At the time, and sporadically since then, Trump said he would re-enter the accord if he could get a better deal, but that prospect is much less likely now than it was then given key staff departures and administration priorities elsewhere.

Quote“I don’t think he’s going to change on that."
— Former Vice President Al Gore

Gore added that he stopped talking to Trump after his announcement last June. "I never give up on anybody,” Gore told Axios’ Mike Allen on stage to a packed audience. “I’ve come closest as I ever have with President Trump."

Other highlights from this morning’s interview with Gore:

  • How pushing for action on climate change is like other social movements:
"Every great morally based movement that has advanced the prospects for humanity has been led in significant measure by young people. I see this climate movement in the context of these previous movements, [such as the] abolition of slavery."
  • His climate optimism despite Trump’s Paris withdrawal:
"The good news is we’re seeing tremendous policy changes — Paris agreement a couple years ago committed every nation in the world. … I know what you’re thinking, President Trump made his statement, but the first day on which the U.S. could legally withdraw from the Paris agreement happens to be the day after the next president election. … If there is a new president, a new president could simply give 30 days notice and the US is right back in the agreement.”
  • On whether politicians have to acknowledge climate change to make progress addressing it.
"Well, yes, however, the economics of renewable energy and increasingly electric vehicles … are now driving changes even among those who do not want to acknowledge the reality of what we’re facing."