At Davos, United States President Donald Trump on January 22 has stated that he 'would have loved' to have met the teen climate activist Greta Thunberg. This comes after Thunberg indirectly slammed Trump for joining 'One Trillion Trees' initiative and said that 'planting trees is not enough'.
Both Thunberg and Trump have starkly different views on climate change and the four-day conference of the World Economic Forum has climate as the top agenda. Earlier, the US leader had also rejected warnings by climate activists and called them 'prophets of doom' in the keynote speech.
The US President received rapturous applause when he announced that America would join the tree initiative. However, the 17-year-old said that even though it is a good deed to plant more trees, the ongoing use of coal and fossil fuels are not helping the cause.
Thunberg said at WEF, “We're not telling you to offset your emissions by paying someone to plant trees in somewhere like Africa, while at the same time forests like the Amazon are being slaughtered at an infinitely higher rate.”
She further added, “Planting trees is good of course, but it's nowhere near enough of what is needed and it cannot replace real mitigation...My generation will not give up without a fight...Our house is still on fire.”
Despite the concerns about increasing emissions of greenhouse gases that are widely responsible for drastic climate change, Trump even praised his country for producing the world's largest amount of natural gas. Yet, when the US President was asked about environmental issues, he replied that the 'environment is very important to me'. Most of Trump's initial part of the speech included him praising America on its domestic economic policies.
The 17-year-old climate activist said that the richer countries need to get down to zero emissions much faster. She also added that the leaders are not doing anything to deal with the climate emergency. Thunberg further warned them that the time was running out and without treating it as real crisis they would not be able to solve the issue.
Trump has previously expressed his doubts about climate change and slammed climate concerns on Twitter. Even during the annual General Assembly meeting at United Nations headquarters last year, Thunberg was spotted staring at the US President with apparent fury. Trump has not only withdrawn from the Climate Accord of 2015 but also opposes renewable energy.
(With inputs from Agencies)