An Interview with tado° co-founder Christian Deilmann who met with Al Gore for dinner

Chris, you met with the former Vice President of the United States for dinner this week in Austria together with a handful of sustainability entrepreneurs. What was your impression?

He is an amazing personality, extraordinary bright, knowledgeable and wise. I share many of his views and I am very glad that people like Al Gore exist. He is someone who really cares about climate change and the future of our beautiful earth.

Climate change is a controversial topic in the current US administration and many green initiatives are being rolled back, not to mention the pending US withdrawal of the Paris agreement. How does Al Gore react to these recent developments?

Al Gore clearly has a very different point of view than the current Administration. However he is convinced that despite the plan to exit the Paris agreement, the US will nevertheless meet the agreed CO2 reduction targets. This is due to the fact that the individual states and cities have decided for themselves that they will continue to stick to their reduction targets. This is really good news.

In Al Gore’s view, how can we achieve a CO2 neutral and renewable energy system for the world?

When he answered this question there was so much optimism and passion in the room. It was amazing! Al Gore stated that the production cost of renewable energy is reaching parity with fossil fuels. It is clear that as soon as this inflection point happens the free market economy will solve a large part of the climate change issue and will stop using fossil fuels.

This sounds very promising. How do we get to this inflection point to drive renewable energies?

This is what I asked him as well. Al Gore is very determined and sees two levers. He says that worldwide we are still heavily subsidising fossil fuel-based energy supplies and this really has to stop. On the other hand he says we need to have a prize for negative externalities like emitting CO2. He gave an example that in the past industry and private citizens were dumping wastewater into rivers, but today there is a price tag for wastewater and an infrastructure of sewage drains to take care of it. A similar system of having a price on CO2 emissions needs to be in place worldwide. Therefore the Paris Agreement is very important in guiding the world into the right direction and fight against floods, fires and droughts.

I would also like to add that Al Gore was really focusing on the importance of a conscious use of energy and energy efficiency. He was addressing all of the young sustainability entrepreneurs in the room that society needs to stand up and act.