Australians should take a careful look at the progress made to slow climate change here and around the world before the federal election, former US vice-president Al Gore says.

The prominent environmental campaigner believes Prime Minister Julia Gillard's carbon tax shows courage and vision but the coalition's direct action plan to deal with climate change won't work.

Speaking from Tennessee, Mr Gore said he would be watching how the 2013 federal election unfolded and what that meant for action on climate change.

"I'm very impressed with your current prime minister," he told ABC TV on Monday, referring to Labor's carbon tax.

"She's shown a great deal of courage and vision."

Asked what he thought about the coalition's plan to abolish the carbon tax and replace it with direct action programs, Mr Gore said: "It didn't work here, it hasn't worked anywhere."

He said with recent floods, fires and extreme weather, there was powerful evidence the climate crisis was having a harsh impact on Australia.

"Mother Nature (is) now speaking very loudly and persuasively, in keeping with what the scientists predicted would unfold," he said.

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