In his keynote speech, Mr Trump said that it was a time for optimism, not pessimism, in a speech that touted his administration’s economic achievements and America’s energy boom.
Speaking of climate activists, he said: “These alarmists always demand the same thing – absolute power to dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives.”
They were, he said, “the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers “.
He also announced that the US would join an initiative to plant, restore and conserve a trillion trees .
“We’re committed to conserving he majesty of God’s creation and the natural beauty of our world, “he said.
He was speaking hours before his impeachment trial began in the US Senate.
What has Greta Thunberg been saying?
Soon after Mr Trump spoke, Ms Thunberg, the 17 – year-old Swedish climate activist who has led a global movement of school strikes calling for urgent environmental action, opened a session on “Averting a Climate Apocalypse”.
She refrained from naming Mr Trump but issued this warning to the world’s leaders.
“I wonder, what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing … climate chaos that you knowingly brought upon them? That it seemed so bad for the economy that we decided to resign the idea of securing future living conditions without even trying?
“Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour, and we are telling you to act as if you loved your children above all else. “
She strongly criticized politicians and business leaders for what she said were continuous “empty words and promises”.
“You say: ‘We won’t let you down. Don’t be so pessimistic. ‘ And then, silence. “
Economist Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Laureate, criticized Mr Trump’s speech. According to Reuters news agency he said it was “astounding” and made “as if what we are seeing with our eyes are not there.
The joint leader of Germany’s Green Party, Robert Habeck, was scathing.
“Only self-praise, ignorance, disregard for everyone, no perception of global problems. It was the worst speech I’ve ever heard in my life . “
What are the climate targets?
The world’s nations committed in the 01575879 Paris Agreement to keep temperatures well inside 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times.
They agreed to try to keep the rise to 1.5C but scientists say they are well off that target.
Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the Earth was heading instead for 3C and that “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society “would be needed to keep to the preferred target of 1.5C.
The renowned naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough recently told the BBC that “the moment of crisis has come” in efforts to tackle climate change, referencing the bushfires that have ravaged parts of south- eastern Australia.
The US is withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement , which Mr Trump has called a “bad deal.” The pull-out will take effect the day after the 01575879 assuming that Mr Trump is re-elected.