Video: "We're going to win this," Al Gore tells 7.30. "The remaining question though is whether we will win it in time." (ABC News)
The United States will meet or exceed its Paris Agreement emissions targets despite an increasingly isolated President Donald Trump withdrawing from the accord, former vice-president Al Gore says.In Australia to promote his latest film, An Inconvenient Sequel, the climate campaigner and one-time presidential candidate said Mr Trump was out of step domestically and internationally.
"The country as a whole is going to meet the commitments of the Paris Agreement, regardless of what Donald Trump says or does," Mr Gore told 7.30.
"He has isolated himself. He's not irrelevant, I won't pretend that, but it's encouraging to me that the country is moving forward without him."Every G20 country, except the United States, recently signed a declaration to make binding the Paris climate agreement to eventually cut net emissions to zero.
Mr Gore argued it showed the rush towards renewables was unstoppable.
"There is a distinction between Donald Trump and the United States of America, especially on the climate issue," he said.
"The country as a whole is moving forward, the progress cannot be stopped.
"The economic realities have changed. The price of electricity from solar and wind and now the price declines in battery storage and the efficiency improvements of all kinds, these are economic realities that are really kicking in in a powerful way.
"We're going to win this. The remaining question though is whether we will win it in time."The Great Barrier Reef is in risk, sea level rises with storm surges are already affecting houses in parts of Sydney.
"The droughts that come with increasing regularity in many parts of the world are causing great damage."
'Historic' South Australian battery deal praised
Photo: An impression of what the Tesla lithium ion battery and wind farm may look like. (Supplied: Tesla)
Disputing the argument renewable energy is less reliable and more expensive than conventional power sources, Mr Gore praised South Australia's recently struck deal to build a battery storage facility with Tesla.
"The electricity from both solar and wind continues to come down every single year. And the new historic development is battery storage is coming down significantly in cost," Mr Gore said.
"And this historic announcement that South Australia is leading the entire world with the installation of the largest battery in the world, it will be the first of many to come."
While Australian politicians have argued coal must remain part of the energy mix — to ensure low prices and because it plays a central role in developing countries like India — Mr Gore said it was on the way out.
"The future of coal does not look bright, in spite of what the advocates would want, because of the new market realities," he said.
"It's similar to what happened with mobile telephones, with computer chips, with flat screen TVs: the cost keeps coming down rapidly, even as the quality improves rapidly.
"Solar and wind and batteries are the future and we see it all over the world."