I Spoke With Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore

I Spoke With Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore

In a conversation, Feb 12, 2010, at TED 2010 in an early morning breakfast, I asked United States Senator & former VP Al Gore  a question on the implications of global climate acts if energy MNCs (multinational corporations) fail to respect them in developing nations like Nigeria where many MNCs continue to pollute the environment despite decades of environmental laws. I explained the ambiguity of trusting the United States to lead the world on global climate protection since it has become evident that what matters is what happens in the United States and not anywhere else.

These firms do in Nigeria what cannot be done in Texas because they see the world from two lenses. Because of their influences, they manipulate Africa’s political class and overrun a weak judicial system. And they get away from environmental justice. So why bother over global warming?

The ecosystem is interconnected. If the United States and Europe secure their skies and Nigeria continues to allow gas flaring, the world is not safe indeed because ecological forces could make its impacts extend beyond the shores of Nigeria.

In his response, the Senator apologized to me. He was genuine in his words on the activities of these MNCs and IOCs. He proposed some ways he could help. At the end, unless Nigerian legal system rises, companies will exploit the weakest links. Al Gore indeed wants to see Nigeria deepen its environmental justice and enforcement. If our parliament, judiciary and non-profits do not put a severe price for destroying our environments, no company, local or foreign, will respect anything in the books.

Back to the breakfast – it was an invitation only breakfast conversation in TED 2010 at Long Beach, California. It took place in the Westin Hotel on Feb 12, 2010.


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One thought on “I Spoke With Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore

  1. Interesting prof

    Weak Laws? I agree.

    But beyond that, responsible corporations will do the right thing (moral reason for Safety) beyond compliance.

    Not because anyone is looking, forcing them or penalizing but because it is their culture and they have value for lives, properties & the environment.

    Though I won’t excuse our legal weak links but I will bank on global best practice.

    Hence, that response can be frowned at.

    When signing sustainable development goals and HSE policies, do we exclude territories we operate in? No!

    Top management of organizations signs and attest that they will abide and comply to all applicable National and international regulatory requirements and legislations. But what’s even sad is that most of the organizations who pollutes our environment, endanger lives and properties in Nigeria are ISO certified!

    Now ISO Certification sets standards for managing organizational processes to best practice standards and these companies voluntarily subscribes to them … is just a show off or to appear good of their activities are indicating otherwise?

    Organizations really need to stop capitalizing on Nigeria’s weak links and do the needful responsibly.

    Nigerian government can as well take the hard pie and bite ensuring the gaps and loopholes are tied.


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