DAVOS, Switzerland -- Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore on Wednesday announced that he and multitalented entertainer Pharrell Williams are organizing a one-day, six-continent event to pressure climate negotiators to agree to carbon emissions controls at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year. The simultaneous series of music concerts will take place on June 18.
Gore announced the event at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, after delivering a presentation that served as an update to his 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth.” His presentation came a day after President Obama used his State of the Union speech to declare, "No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change."
Gore credited businesses (particularly in the renewable energy field) with leading the way in addressing climate change. Yet, a new survey released on the eve of the Davos event showed that most corporate CEOs do not want governments to prioritize the fight against climate change. With 2014 being one of the hottest years in recorded history, Gore said, “It is absolutely crucial that we build public will for an agreement" at the Paris conference.
Gore said there will be Live Earth concerts simultaneously in Paris, France; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Beijing, China; Cape Town, South Africa; and Sydney, Australia -- attracting a projected audience of up to 2 billion people on roughly 200 television stations.
At the Davos conference, Gore lauded President Obama’s recent deal with the Chinese government to begin cutting carbon emissions. That deal has been criticized, however, by some environmental groups who say it doesn’t go far enough. It has also been criticized by Republican lawmakers who say it could harm U.S. economic growth. Two potential Republican presidential candidates who are climate change skeptics, Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, are now chairing key congressional committees that oversee governmental agencies involved in climate science.
In his State of the Union speech, Obama took aim at lawmakers who question the science associated with climate change. “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists -- that we don’t have enough information to act,” he said. “Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what? I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA and NOAA and at our major universities.”