Al Gore praises Scotland’s renewables potential and says world should follow our lead


By a Newsnet reporter
Former US Vice President Al Gore has praised Scotland’s renewables potential and has urged the world to follow Scotland’s lead on low carbon emission targets.
Mr Gore was speaking at the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh which is designed to raise investment for ‘green energy’.

A renowned climate change campaigner and renewable energy enthusiast Mr Gore spoke of Scotland’s centuries old engineering tradition and described the renewable energy potential as “enormous”.

Watched by the First Minister, Mr Gore warned of the dangers of carbon emissions and claimed we face “catastrophe” if action is not taken.

He said: “If the world follows the lead of Scotland and makes its claim with these long-term targets and the rallying of business and civic and political leaders, then it’s clear which direction we’re going.  If the general expectation is that renewable energy has a bright future, we’re going to make the right choice.”

Earlier in the day Mr Gore attended a breakfast meeting in the FM’s official residence at Bute House, Edinburgh, before delivering the keynote address to delegates at the conference.

The two men discussed a range of issues around work to tackle climate change and promote low carbon innovation and investment.

Afterwards the FM said:

“I was delighted to welcome former Vice President Gore and to discuss with him how Scotland is working to accelerate the growth of our renewables and low carbon industries, to reduce emissions and make a substantial contribution to tackling the damaging global impacts of climate change.  Scotland’s growing position as a green energy powerhouse for Europe is gaining substantial international recognition.

“We face a moral obligation to act against growing climate chaos and a clear economic imperative to avoid much greater future costs and these are issues which Mr Gore has worked tirelessly and consistently to communicate to governments, corporations and citizens across the world. His leadership in this area can provide great encouragement and impetus to delegates attending this week’s conference as we work together to build a sustainable future for the planet and for the generations that follow us.”

Mr Gore said:

“I admire and applaud the First Minister’s leadership in promoting the development of renewable energy, efficiency and sharp reductions in CO2 emissions.  His government and private companies based in Scotland are providing inspiration to others in many parts of the world.”

Mr Gore, who served as Vice President of the United States with President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2006 for his work to increase knowledge about and promote actions to counteract man-made climate change.  A documentary about his work, entitled ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, won an Oscar in 2007.

Now in its second year, the SLCI Conference is a leading international forum for the financing and commercialisation of renewable energy and other low carbon technologies.