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article imageU.S. stance on climate crisis weakens Trump's legitimacy at G20

By Karen Graham     Jul 1, 2019 in Environment
President Donald Trump dismissed the need for climate action during the G20 summit - saying such a move would threaten corporate profits. Trump tried to get other G20 member states to oppose commitments to stand by the Paris climate agreement and lost.
Former President Jimmy Carter called into question Trump's legitimacy to ascend to the presidency about the same time the president gave a wink and a smile to President Putin, asking the Russians not to interfere in any more U.S. elections.
That question of legitimacy has now spread - not just to other G20 countries - but to other world leaders. Even as Europe sweltered in the midst of a hellish heatwave and wildfires raged in several nations, Trump dismissed the need for climate action and falsely claimed that air and water in the U.S. are the "cleanest" they have ever been.
During a press conference on Saturday, Trump told reporters he doesn't want to confront the climate emergency because such a move would threaten corporate profits. "So we have the best numbers that we've ever had recently," Trump said. "I'm not looking to put our companies out of business."
US President Donald Trump meets Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Osaka
US President Donald Trump meets Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Osaka
Brendan Smialowski, AFP
And as usual for Trump, it is all about what he has done for the country. He went on to say: "I'm not looking to create a standard that is so high that we're going to lose 20-25 percent of our production. I'm not willing to do that," Trump continued. "We have the cleanest water we've ever had, we have the cleanest air—you saw the reports come out recently. We have the cleanest air we've ever had. But I'm not willing to sacrifice the tremendous power of what we've built up over a long period of time, and what I've enhanced and revived."
Trump allegedly tried to "enlist the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Australia, and Turkey in opposing commitments to stand by the Paris climate agreement made at previous G-20 summits." But according to Politico, the 19 other countries refused to budge on their commitments, leaving Trump the only outlier.
The global community sees the climate crisis as a challenge to be addressed in a collective manner, with all the nearly 200 countries who signed the Paris Agreement working together - a view that is in direct conflict with Trump's view that climate change is a hoax and any attempts to address it as "job killers."
Then, there is Trump's strange obsession with undoing everything his predecessor, President Barack Obama achieved, from health to climate change.
The Osaka gathering was essentially hijacked by the trade fight between the world's two biggest...
The Osaka gathering was essentially hijacked by the trade fight between the world's two biggest economies
Brendan Smialowski, AFP
But Trump's ignorance of renewable energy showed through when he was asked at the G20 Summit about his claim that wind power “does not work” because it has to be heavily subsidized, according to the Independent.
“It doesn’t always work with a windmill. When the wind goes off, the plant isn’t working. It doesn’t always work with solar because solar’s just not strong enough, and a lot of them want to go to wind, which has caused a lot of problems. Wind doesn’t work for the most part without subsidy. The United States is paying tremendous amounts of subsidies for wind. I don’t like it, I don’t like it.”
Many world leaders are now questioning why Trump even bothered to come to the Osaka, Japan meeting. We still have a trade war going on with China and despite the alleged good feelings between Trump and China's leader, nothing has been solved. As for his meeting to shake hands with North Korea's leader at the "demilitarized zone," it was nothing more than politically motivated.
More about Trump, G20 summit, Climate crisis, paris agreement, legitimacy
 
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