(Reuters) (Reuters)

Former Vice President Al Gore urged Senate Democrats to move forcefully to address global warming in a closed-door lunch Thursday, 13 years to the day after the Supreme Court ended his 2000 presidential bid.

Gore's talk came at a time when climate policy appears to be gathering momentum in Washington: this week the White House announced it was bringing on John Podesta, a prominent Democratic strategist and environmental activist, to help oversee energy and climate change for the president.

The former vice president gave a plainspoken, note-free presentation about his environmental concerns, according to several senators who attended, all without the aid of PowerPoint. Much of his talk focused on recent energy developments in China, the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter.

"Both the questions and comments strongly reflected a determination among Democrats to pursue this issue aggressively," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

Blumenthal added that he and others are encouraged by what they've seen from President Obama and his staff in recent months.

"My hope is the White House will be acting more aggressively and boldly in an area that's vital to our planet," he said. "The president can have a legacy of environmental action, not only by laying down legal markers but by enforcing the law."