President Donald Trump cannot stop momentum to tackle climate change, former vice-president Al Gore said on Monday as he promoted his latest film on global warming at the Cannes Film Festival.
"An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" is the follow up to "An Inconvenient Truth", the documentary credited with bringing climate change into mainstream political discourse in the United States a decade ago.
Shot mostly before Trump's election, it features the Republican candidate on the campaign trail promising to abolish environmental regulations and boost the coal and oil industries. At one point Trump tells a rally: "We need some global warming -- it's freezing!"
But with legal and political obstacles, Gore said Trump would be unable to stop the momentum that would shift society away from fossil fuels.
"We now know after four months of the Trump administration, no one person, not even a president, can stop the climate movement," Gore told a news conference at the French film festival.
"The courts have blocked parts of what President Trump has attempted and the Congress has refused to act on other parts of his agenda. The American people are determined to continue making progress and will do so," he added.
Since he took office, Trump's administration has moved to unwind environmental rules but frustrated some conservatives by entertaining the idea of keeping the United States in a global pact to fight climate change.
Gore expressed hope that Trump would opt not to quit the 2015 Paris deal on climate change signed by most countries in the world.
"I do believe that there is a better-than-even chance that he will surprise many by keeping the U.S. within the Paris agreement. I don’t know that he will but I think there is a chance that he will."
"An Inconvenient Sequel" premiered at the Sundance Festival in January to mixed reviews.
Variety said it was "likely to be another event, a part of the conversation, a movie that glories, once again, in the incisive power of its inconvenience".
But the Hollywood Reporter said the documentary's big weakness was that Gore failed to tackle Trump strongly enough.
"Quite possibly, Gore thinks talking at this point would jeopardize any influence he might have in the soon-to-be gold-plated Oval Office," it wrote in January.
"But this is one area in which the movie cannot inspire hope for the future."
(Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Catherine Evans)