Gore backs green sector to boost economy

Former US vice president Al Gore told the world's largest green building conference this month that a bigger green sector could boost the economy.

The Nobel Laureate delivered his message as keynote speaker at the opening of last week’s (Nov 11-3) US Green Building Council (USGBC) Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Phoenix.

He said: “We’re in a time now where we’ve got to make some big changes. The green movement is growing leaps and bounds across the US and the world–the green movement is not only good for the environment but for the economy and national security.”

A USGBC study published on the first day of the conference claims the green building industry could generate 7.9m jobs in the next four years and generate billions in wages.

Rick Fedrizzi, council president and chief executive officer, said. “Our goal is for the phrase ‘green building’ to become obsolete by making all building and retrofits green and transforming every job in our industry into a green job.”

Some 28,000 people including building professionals from all over the world gathered at the three-day event.

It featured international speakers, educational seminars, an environmental film festival, green building tours, a job fair and networking sessions.

Rocker and environmentalist Sheryl Crow gave an hour-long concert at the opening at Chase Field, where she was welcomed on stage by Mr Gore.

The Nobel Laureate, who starred in the 2006 Oscar-winning global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, read excerpts from his new book, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, and renewed his call to combat climate change.

He urged the crowd to help expand green building around the world as part of efforts to tackle global warming.

“We can solve this crisis,” he said. “We have the tools we need to solve three or four climate crises and we need to only solve one.”

For more details about the event visit the website www.greenbuildexpo.org

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