Climate change

Al Gore flying in for global warming film debut

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 August, 2006, 12:00am

As Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen appeals to the public to help restore blue skies, former US vice-president Al Gore will arrive in the city next month on a related crusade - global warming.

Mr Gore will attend Hong Kong's first screening of the documentary An Inconvenient Truth on September 12 and is expected to meet green groups during his two-day visit.

Controversially defeated in the US presidential election in 2000, Mr Gore was involved in the Earth Summit of 1992 and in negotiating the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions in 1997.

But the United States withdrew from Kyoto in 2001 and since then Mr Gore has campaigned in America for action against global warming.

The film, released with Mr Gore's book of the same title, was promoted as 'the most terrifying movie of the summer'. It aims to reveal the 'truth' about global warming.

In one episode, it highlights the potential devastating impact of the meltdown of the 2,000-metre-thick Greenland ice sheet. The rising sea level could drown Beijing and Shanghai, resulting in at least 50 million 'ecological refugees'.

Mr Gore argues in the film that global warming is not just a scientific or political issue but a moral one that everyone has a responsibility to do something about.

The documentary, directed by Davis Guggenheim, has been well received by US audiences.

Friends of the Earth environmental affairs manager Hahn Chu Hon-keung said it should not be compared to the environmental apocalypse movie The Day After Tomorrow, which he said was 'too commercial and emotionally charged'.

Mr Gore's movie 'can touch people's hearts with facts', said Mr Chu, who watched a preview recently.

He said that his group had written to Mr Gore, asking him for advice on dealing with the city's air pollution.

'We told him that Hong Kong people, like the Americans, are wasting energy. Our greenhouse emissions per capita are about twice the global average. We hope he can share with us his insights on addressing atmospheric pollution before the chief executive releases his policy address.'

Mr Chu said the group also wanted to invite Mr Gore to visit some of Hong Kong's air pollution black spots.

A spokeswoman for Media Advertising, which is in charge of the film's promotion, confirmed that Mr Gore had agreed to come but said details needed to be confirmed.