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Carolyn Kaster / AP

Former Vice President Al Gore personally urged President Trump not to abandon the Paris climate accord in a phone conversation on Tuesday morning, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The chat between Gore, the world's best-known climate activist, and Trump occurred as the divided administration nears a decision about whether to abandon the 2015 international pact that's aimed at preventing runaway global warming.

What Gore said: "Mr. Gore made the case for why the U.S. should stay in the Agreement and meet our commitments," said a source close to the former Vice President, who has praised the Paris accord while calling for it to be strengthened over time.

The source was not sure who initiated the conversation but noted, "this is not the first time he's been in touch with the President and others in the Administration about this issue."

  • Gore met with Trump in Trump Tower on Dec. 5, and told The Hollywood Reporter in a mid-January piece that they remained in contact. In late March Gore strongly criticized Trump's moves to unwind Obama's domestic climate regulations.

What's next: White House spokesman Sean Spicer announced Tuesday that Trump would not make a decision until after the late May G-7 heads of state meeting in Italy. Spicer had previously said the White House expected to come to a decision ahead of that summit.

Go deeper

Sidewalk robots get legal rights as "pedestrians"

"We’ve got about 1,000 of them running around out there," Ryan Tuohy of Starship tells Axios. Photo courtesy of Starship Technologies.

As small robots proliferate on sidewalks and city streets, so does legislation that grants them generous access rights and even classifies them, in the case of Pennsylvania, as "pedestrians."

Why it matters: Fears of a dystopian urban world where people dodge heavy, fast-moving droids are colliding with the aims of robot developers large and small — including Amazon and FedEx — to deploy delivery fleets.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
34 mins ago - Economy & Business

The biggest obstacle to a wealth tax

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Taxing the rich is an idea that's back. An "ultra-millionaire tax" introduced by Elizabeth Warren and other left-wing Democrats this week would raise more than $3 trillion over 10 years, they say, while making the tax system as a whole more fair.

Why it matters: New taxes would be a necessary part of any Democratic plan to redistribute wealth and reduce inequality. But President Biden has more urgent priorities — and Warren's wealth tax in particular faces constitutional obstacles that make it a hard sell.

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.