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article imageUS, Saudi, Russia 'insulted' key global warming report: Al Gore

By AFP     Dec 11, 2018 in Environment

Former US vice president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore on Tuesday slammed the world's top oil producers -- his own country, Saudi Arabia and Russia -- for "insulting" a key and alarming report on climate change.

A bloc of 44 small island nations -- many facing an existential threat from storm surges engorged by rising seas -- had called on the UN climate body to "welcome" a UN report on limiting global warming to 1.5C (2.7F) above pre-industrial levels.

But the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia blocked the critical word change in the negotiating text of the COP24 summit in Poland.

The text was watered down to say that it takes "note" of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming.

The report had warned that if warming was to be kept to 1.5C this century, then emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be reduced by nearly 50 percent by 2030.

With no consensus, under UN rules the passage of the text had to be dropped.

The report was "just insulted really by the governments of the United States and Saudi Arabia and Russia," said Gore, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 along with the IPCC for their efforts to build and disseminate knowledge about manmade climate change.

"It was for the three largest producers of petroleum on the planet, to choose a word, 'inconvenient' to welcome the scientific facts," Gore said, alluding to his documentaries "An Inconvenient Truth" and "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power".

Several nations and activists also criticised the three countries for snubbing the report.

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