Al Gore interviewed by Novatron Fusion Group comms lead at Tech Arena 2024

Energize Editors

Energize Editors

On the opening day of Tech Arena 2024, former US Vice President and Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore, gave an impassioned interview with Novatron Fusion Group Chief Communication Officer Linda Nyberg on the Main Arena stage.

In front of a packed audience – with 10,000 delegates passing through the gate – Gore expressed his desire to accelerate the energy transition, welcoming the introduction of fusion in the future clean energy mix.

“I love Stockholm, I love Sweden, it’s an honour to speak to this group” said Gore. “One of the reasons I came here is to recruit you. I’m serious. We need your help. I know many of the tech-oriented women and men in this audience are already working on solutions. Those of you that are not yet, we need you, because we’ve got a lot of work to do. We have all the technologies we need but new technologies are welcome. I know you’re working on fusion, and I talked with the CEO (Peter Roos) of your fusion company here. I hope that it comes.”

After being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change” following his documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, he explained what had changed in subsequent years.

“The novelist Charles Dickens famously wrote ‘it was the best of times and the worst of times’, and I think that applies in some ways to the period since 2007,” said Gore. “We have seen fantastic progress. Last year, if you look at all the new electricity generation installed, 80pc of it was solar and wind. Electric vehicles are not far behind. 20pc of all new car sales last year were electric. Almost 50pc of all the two-wheeler and three-wheelers (which carry more people than four-wheel vehicles) were electric. We are also seeing tremendous advances in circular manufacturing models, and now green hydrogen as H2 Green Steel is demonstrating, regenerative agriculture and sustainable forestry.

“However, the climate crisis is still getting worse faster than we are providing solutions to it. We’ve got to wake up and shift into a higher gear. Today we’re putting another 162million tonnes of man-made heat trapping pollution into the sky. Every night the TV news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation. It’s insane, but we’ve gotten used to it. Here’s the good news, if we get to true Net Zero the temperatures will stop going up almost immediately, with a lag time as little as three to five years. If we stay at true Net zero, half of all the human cause of global warming pollution will have fallen out of the atmosphere in as little as 25 to 30 years. There is hope, we can do this. But we are not yet doing it fast enough.”

When drawn on his plea for humanity to ‘reclaim destiny’ Gore said two of the greatest challenges involve fossil fuel lobbying – fuelling climate denial – combined with better capital allocation around the world – most notably in developing nations. He then called for more action from the World Bank and other multilateral development banks to ease the financing burden.

Despite increasing global crisis of varying nature, Gore remains positive about future progress and what he believes is the most powerful scientific revolution in history.

“We are now in the early stages of a sustainability revolution powered by advances in technology. A revolution that has the scale of the industrial revolution coupled with the speed of the digital revolution. I see it in every walk of life. Now with the new advances in large language models and generative AI, we are seeing perhaps the fastest, most powerful, scientific revolution in all of history.”

Meanwhile, Gore’s final message on the most effective route to Net Zero lies in active public discourse on every level possible.

“We hear a lot about what we can do in our personal lives,” added Gore. “Those things are important. But the number one most important thing people can do is to be very vigorous and active in public discussion to get politicians at every level of government activated to move faster to reduce emissions. This is a global emergency. We hear that phrase and maybe its drained of the sense of urgency its intended to convey. The people who say we are not equipped to solve this, they point to the lack of sufficient political will. I’ll tell you this – political will is itself a renewable resource. Getting out into the public sphere and renewing the political will that is essential to making this species-wide decision to transition away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible.”

Organised by Techarenan with backing from the Swedish Innovation Agency, key themes include the energy transition, innovation, economics, sustainability and global megatrends.

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