SPIEGEL Interview With Al Gore: Gore Says Obama Likely to Attend Copenhagen Climate Summit

US President Barack Obama is likely to attend the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December, former US Vice President Al Gore has told SPIEGEL in an interview. Gore said he is optimistic the US Congress will agree an outline of climate legislation before the conference, allowing Obama to head to the Danish capital with "a more substantive position."

Al Gore addressing a conference in Dubai last week. Zoom
AP

Al Gore addressing a conference in Dubai last week.

Former US Vice President Al Gore says US President Barack Obama is likely to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December.

"I see the calendar, I see the unfolding of events, and I feel certain he will go," Gore told SPIEGEL in an interview. Gore expressed optimism that the US Congress will agree on the outline of climate change legislation before the conference. "Therefore, I think there is a very real prospect that the legislation will pass, and that as a result, Obama will have the ability to go to Copenhagen with a more substantive position."

Gore also asked emerging nations for radical changes in their climate change policy: "They have to accept binding provisions. Many developing nations are still thinking that the wealthier countries will take binding obligations, and the developing countries will have non-binding provisions. That is not a formula for success."

Gore also commented on Obama's presidency, saying: "He had a bad summer, but he is having a good fall."

He said about criticism that the president is engaging in too many reform projects at the same time: "After eight years of retrogression, Obama would have been more bitterly criticized if he had chosen only one priority and had not tried to address the many challenges that need to be undertaken. So I do think there is a grain of truth to it, but I also know that his mandate was and is strongest at the beginning of his term."

Gore also addressed the risk of presidential over-exposure by too many appearances: "There have been times when I thought that President Obama maybe got close to that line, for instance with regard to his television interviews."

SPIEGEL ONLINE will publish the full interview on Monday, November 2.

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