Al Gore-Clive Palmer Tandem 'Gobsmacking' as Palmer Decides to Back Abbott Carbon Tax Repeal

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By Reissa Su | June 26, 2014 5:06 PM EST

In what many described as a surprising turn of events, Al Gore has announced he is backing climate change sceptic and Australian PUP leader Cliver Palmer in a press conference in Canberra.

REUTERS/Daniel Munoz
A man takes part in a protest against the carbon tax in central Sydney. June 8, 2012.

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Gore, who is a known campaigner against climate change has given a surprise endorsement to the Australian mining tycoon. The former vice-president of the United States has made a "bizarre" appearance in the Parliament of Australia to announce his support for the climate change policies of Palmer.

Observers described the endorsement as "gobsmacking" as Gore is involving himself in Australian politics. Palmer is a coal and nickel miner who has repeatedly criticised climate change science. Gore is a Nobel prize awardee known for his campaign to fight global warming.

According to reports, Gore's visit to Parliament has been kept secret as he appeared before a stunned audience. Palmer said he will support Prime Minister Tony Abbott's carbon tax repeal but in exchange, he will push a market-based carbon price or emissions trading scheme.

However, Palmer will still be against Mr Abbott's plan to abolish renewable energy targets. Despite saying previously that he did not accept the idea that humans played a role in global warming, the Australian MP is now calling for a global solution since "air moves around the world."

Palmer has expressed his support for a carbon emissions trading scheme with a starting price of zero dollars. He said the scheme will be effective if the country's main trading partners will adopt the same mechanism.

Palmer revealed Gore had given him the chance to reconsider the "important issues facing Australians." He acknowledged that climate change is indeed a global problem that needs a global solution.

According to Gore, he did not agree with Palmer supporting Mr Abbott's carbon tax repeal but he supported the decision to have an emissions trading scheme in Australia. He said he and Palmer may not have the same views on everything but he was "encouraged" with Palmer's willingness to preserve most of Australia's climate change policies.

After the Gore-Palmer revelations, reports said the Abbott government had welcomed Palmer's support for the carbon tax repeal and expressed its willingness to consider the proposal for an emissions trading scheme. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Daniel Munoz / )
A man takes part in a protest against the carbon tax in central Sydney. June 8, 2012.
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