By Ian Johnston Environment Correspondent
Brexit was caused in part by climate change, former US Vice-President Al Gore has said, warning that extreme weather is creating political instability “the world will find extremely difficult to deal with”.
Mr Gore, speaking at an event in which he previewed a sequel to his landmark 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, said the “principal” cause of the Syrian Civil War had been the worst drought in 900 years, which forced 1.5 million people to move from the countryside to the cities.
There they met a similar number of Iraqis who had fled the conflict in their homeland, creating powder keg conditions that Syrian government officials privately feared would explode.
The resulting war brought more refugees into Europe, causing political instability and helping convince some in the UK to vote to leave the European Union.
One of the most controversial Leave campaign posters showed a queue of refugees stretching into the distance with the caption “Breaking point: The EU has failed us all”. The then-Chancellor, George Osborne, described the poster as “disgusting and vile” and, like others who explicitly compared it to Nazi propaganda, said it had “echoes of literature used in the 1930s”.
Mr Gore, whose new film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is due out in the UK in August, told an audience at the Advertising Week Europe event in London: “This collision between the power of industrial civilisation and the surprising fragility of the Earth’s ecosystem now poses a great danger that could even threaten the future of human civilisation itself.