Quantcast

Trump Claims to Be ‘Environmentalist’ After Skipping G7 Climate Meeting

Politics

Donald Trump gives a press conference in south-west France on Aug. 26, on the third day of the annual G7.

BERTRAND GUAY / AFP / Getty Images

President Trump never made it to a meeting on the climate crisis at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Biarritz, France this weekend, ABC News reported.


Trump was scheduled to attend the meeting on climate, biodiversity and oceans Monday, but never turned up, sending his aides instead.

The White House later blamed scheduling for his absence.

"The President had scheduled meetings and bilaterals with Germany and India, so a senior member of the Administration attended in his stead," Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said, as CNN reported.

But both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended at least the beginning of the session, according to CNN.

During his meeting with Modi, Trump was asked about the climate meeting and said he would head there next, but he never did, according to ABC News.

Later that day at the summit's closing press conference, however, Trump stated that he was an "environmentalist," The Hill reported.

"I'm an environmentalist. A lot of people don't understand that," he said when asked if he still doubted that climate change was happening. After citing his experience filing environmental impact statements as a real estate developer, he continued, "I think I know more about the environment than most people. I want clean air. I want clean water. I want a wealthy country. I want a spectacular country with jobs, with pensions, with so many things. And that's what we're getting."

The Trump administration has in fact worked to rollback clean air and water protections initiated by the Obama administration.


In the same address to reporters, Trump also talked up fossil fuels at the expense of renewable energy, as POLITICO summarized:

"I feel that the United States has tremendous wealth. The wealth is under its feet. I've made that wealth come alive," he said, pointing to the United States' rise to a global leader in oil exports and his efforts to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for oil drilling, an initiative that has hit a number of roadblocks.

But he again dismissed sources of renewable energy like wind power, referring to power generating wind turbines as "windmills" and telling reporters he didn't want to waste America's "tremendous" energy wealth on "dreams."

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has criticized Trump's climate policies in the past, told reporters not to infer too much from the U.S. President's absence at the climate meeting.

"He wasn't in the room, but his team was," Macron said at a press conference reported by CNN.

Macron said he would not try to persuade the Trump administration to rejoin the Paris agreement to fight climate change, and said that he and Trump had had a productive discussion on the fires in the Amazon, ABC News reported.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Individual standing in Hurricane Harvey flooding and damage. Jill Carlson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Allegra Kirkland, Jeremy Deaton, Molly Taft, Mina Lee and Josh Landis

Climate change is already here. It's not something that can simply be ignored by cable news or dismissed by sitting U.S. senators in a Twitter joke. Nor is it a fantastical scenario like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012 that starts with a single crack in the Arctic ice shelf or earthquake tearing through Los Angeles, and results, a few weeks or years later, in the end of life on Earth as we know it.

Read More Show Less
A pregnant woman works out in front of the skyline of London. SHansche / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Air pollution particles that a pregnant woman inhales have the potential to travel through the lungs and breach the fetal side of the placenta, indicating that unborn babies are exposed to black carbon from motor vehicles and fuel burning, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivered a talking-to to members of Congress Tuesday during a meeting of the Senate Climate Change Task Force after politicians praised her and other youth activists for their efforts and asked their advice on how to fight climate change.

Read More Show Less
Ten feet of water flooded 20 percent of this Minot, North Dakota neighborhood in June 2011. DVIDSHUB / CC BY 2.0

By Jared Brey

When Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida panhandle last October, it killed at least 43 people, caused an estimated $25 billion in damage and destroyed thousands of homes.

Read More Show Less
A protestor holds up her hand covered with fake oil during a demonstration on the U.C. Berkeley campus in May 2010. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The University of California system will dump all of its investments from fossil fuels, as the Associated Press reported. The university system controls over $84 billion between its pension fund and its endowment. However, the announcement about its investments is not aimed to please activists.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Forest fire continues to blaze in Indonesesia on Sept. 18. WAHYUDI / AFP / Getty Images

Nearly 200 people have been arrested in Indonesia over their possible connections to the massive wildfires raging in the nation's forest, officials said this week.

Read More Show Less

By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

World leaders have a formidable task: setting a course to save our future. The extreme weather made more frequent and severe by climate change is here. This spring, devastating cyclones impacted 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Record heatwaves are hitting Europe and other regions — this July was the hottest month in modern record globally. Much of India is again suffering severe drought.

Read More Show Less
Covering Climate Now / YouTube screenshot

By Mark Hertsgaard

The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."

Read More Show Less