Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Davos 2020: Trump Dismisses Environmental Concerns as 'Pessimism' at Climate-Focused WEF

Politics
Trump leaves after delivering a speech at the Congress Centre during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 21, 2020. JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed the concerns of environmental activists as "pessimism" in a speech to political and business leaders at the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday.


Climate change and global warming are topping the agenda at this year's annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, with activists at odds with businesses and governments about how to tackle the issue.

What Trump said:

  • The U.S. leader dubbed climate activists "prophets of doom" and rejected their warnings, saying: "Fear and doubt is not a good thought process."
  • Despite concerns about emissions, Trump praised the U.S. as one of the world's largest producers of natural gas.
  • He announced that the U.S. would be joining the WEF's one trillion trees initiative.
  • When asked about his stance on climate change by reporters ahead of his speech, he said: "I'm a big believer in the environment. The environment is very important to me."
  • Much of Trump's speech focused on praising his administration's domestic economic policies, saying that by rolling back regulations, prosperity "would come thundering back at record speed."
  • "A nation's highest duty is to its own citizens," he said. "Only when governments put their citizens first, will they be invested in their national futures."

Greta: 'Basically Nothing Has Been Done'

Following Trump's speech, Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg criticized world leaders and business executives for failing to meet their climate targets.

"Unlike you, my generation will not give up without a fight. The facts are clear but they are still too uncomfortable for you to address," she told a panel.

"Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fueling the flames by the hour. And we are telling you to act as if you loved your children above all else," Thunberg said, echoing her remarks from her WEF appearance last year.

At a panel just before Trump arrived, Thunberg emphasized that moderate changes will not be enough to slow the impact of climate change.

"We are all fighting for the environment and climate. If you see it from a bigger perspective, basically nothing has been done. It will require much more than this. This is just the very beginning," she said.

Who else will be there? More than 50 heads of state and government will be in attendance along with more than 3,000 other attendees. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to speak on Thursday. Following in Thunberg's footsteps, other young activists are also taking part this year, including South African climate activist Ayakha Melithafa and Irish teen scientist Fionn Ferreira.

What to look out for: It will be the first time that Trump meets with the new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The U.S. leader has repeatedly clashed with the EU over trade and tax policies. It also remains to be seen whether businesses will back up their pledges on climate change with concrete action.

What is Davos? It's the 50th meeting of the World Economic Forum this year, which was launched by German economist Klaus Schwab. The meeting takes place at the Swiss ski resort of Davos, drawing world leaders, business executives, academics, charity heads and celebrities. The conference is used to hold bilateral meetings, make business deals or to try and impact the global agenda. The meeting this year runs from Jan. 21 – 24.

Reposted with permission from DW.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Moroccan patients who recovered from the novel coronavirus disease celebrate with medical staff as they leave the hospital in Sale, Morocco, on April 3, 2020. AFP / Getty Images

By Tom Duszynski

The coronavirus is certainly scary, but despite the constant reporting on total cases and a climbing death toll, the reality is that the vast majority of people who come down with COVID-19 survive it. Just as the number of cases grows, so does another number: those who have recovered.

In mid-March, the number of patients in the U.S. who had officially recovered from the virus was close to zero. That number is now in the tens of thousands and is climbing every day. But recovering from COVID-19 is more complicated than simply feeling better. Recovery involves biology, epidemiology and a little bit of bureaucracy too.

Read More Show Less
Reef scene with crinoid and fish in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Reinhard Dirscherl / ullstein bild / Getty Images

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts

The future for the world's oceans often looks grim. Fisheries are set to collapse by 2048, according to one study, and 8 million tons of plastic pollute the ocean every year, causing considerable damage to delicate marine ecosystems. Yet a new study in Nature offers an alternative, and more optimistic view on the ocean's future: it asserts that the entire marine environment could be substantially rebuilt by 2050, if humanity is able to step up to the challenge.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A daughter touches her father's head while saying goodbye as medics prepare to transport him to Stamford Hospital on April 02, 2020 in Stamford, Connecticut. He had multiple COVID-19 symptoms. John Moore / Getty Images

Across the country, the novel coronavirus is severely affecting black people at much higher rates than whites, according to data released by several states, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Four rolls of sourdough bread are arranged on a surface. Photo by Laura Chase de Formigny and food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post / Getty Images

By Zulfikar Abbany

Bread has been a source of basic nutrition for centuries, the holy trinity being wheat, maize and rice. It has also been the reason for a lot of innovation in science and technology, from millstones to microbiological investigations into a family of single-cell fungi called Saccharomyces.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A coral reef in Egypt's Red Sea. Tropical ocean ecosystems could see sudden biodiversity losses this decade if emissions are not reduced. Georgette Douwma / Stone / Getty Images

The biodiversity loss caused by the climate crisis will be sudden and swift, and could begin before 2030.

Read More Show Less