Cannes Lions Will Honor Al Gore for His Work on Climate Change

Making a 'positive difference' to the planet

President Bill Clinton may have spoken at Cannes, but it's Al Gore who will receive one of the festival's top honors.

Gore, Clinton's vice president from 1993 through 2001 and an outspoken critic of global warming, will receive a Cannes LionHeart, an award that the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity introduced last year to honor someone who "through innovative use of commercial brand power has made a significant and positive difference to people or the planet." Last year's winner was U2's Bono, who was recognized for his efforts—via (RED)—to combat AIDS.

In explaining the selection of Gore, the festival cited his work as chairman of The Climate Reality Project, books he has written about global warming and of course his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which won an Oscar.

But beyond claiming his award at the festival in June, Gore will also speak at an event known as the Cannes Debate, which WPP Group CEO Martin Sorrell hosts. Their conversation will span climate change and the role of communications in political and environmental campaigning, according to the festival.

Clinton's elbow-rubbing with ad denizens in France came in 2012, when he urged a packed crowd at the Palais des Festivals to use their communication prowess to solve the world's most pressing problems. He injected a little levity as well, however, saying Grey's "Don't Get Cable" ads were the "most hilarious I've ever seen."