By Kathleen Biggins
Are we falling out of “thrall” with fossil fuels?
Many activists and business leaders at a dinner interview with Al Gore, hosted by the New York Times last night in Dubai, seem to think so. It was a fascinating and mission-affirming evening for us.
Whether it’s the non-proliferation treaty on fossil fuels that countries are signing or the accelerating speed of innovation and new technology adaptation, there is a sense that the game board has changed. Some believe the move by oil companies to agree to limit methane release is a direct outcome of those shifts. Finance experts told me that even the oil majors are feeling the pressure from stakeholders who recognize how vulnerable the companies will be in the future, despite record profits in the present. And leaders of countries, like President Gustavo Petro of Colombia, are increasingly willing to risk political and economic upheaval in the race against rising temperatures. As he said:
“Some may ask: why would the president of this country want to commit suicide with an economy that relies on fossil fuels? Being here, we are trying to halt a suicide, the death of everything that is alive, everything that exists. This is not economic suicide. We are avoiding the omnicide of the world, of planet Earth. There is no other formula, no other path. Everything else is an illusion.”
Al Gore wove a challenging narrative, calling climate change a threat to our civilization, and calling on audience members to do more. His call to action is a reminder that we still have so much work to do to build consensus for climate action.