Trump attacks climate-change ‘prophets of doom’ in Davos speech

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Delegates should “reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of apocalypse,” President Donald Trump said Tuesday in widely reported remarks on the U.S. economy to the World Economic Forum in Davos, a not-so-subtle swipe at environmental policy-makers and activists.

Those activists include the teenage Greta Thunberg, who was also a headliner at the high-profile event that has made climate change chief among its topics this year.

The phrase “Act on Climate” was written in the snow at the landing zone where Trump’s Marine One helicopter set down in the Swiss resort town.

Late last year, the Trump administration began pulling the U.S. out of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement that has nearly 200 nations as signatories. Under the deal, each country sets goals to curb emissions of heat-trapping gasses that lead to climate change. Trump has called the Paris accord an unfair economic burden to the U.S. economy and has been critical of adherence to the pact and its earlier versions by China, India, Brazil and other nations.

Trump’s speech was received in virtual silence from the audience apart from a brief flurry of applause when Trump said the U.S. would join a World Economic Forum initiative to plant 1 trillion trees worldwide, the Associated Press reported.

Read: Some big coal players may escape BlackRock’s planned divestment

“America is thriving. America is flourishing and yes, America is winning again like never before,” Trump said before talking about a newly signed trade deal with China and a pending trade agreement with Mexico and Canada. He also spoke of record low unemployment, stock market gains DJIA, -0.15% SPX, -0.23%  and millions of people removed from the welfare rolls.

Trump’s speech was criticized by the Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz for failing to address the climate emergency beyond a commitment that the U.S. will join the initiative to plant a trillion trees worldwide.

“He managed to say absolutely zero on climate change,” Stiglitz said, according to the Associated Press. “Meanwhile we’re going to roast.”

Thunberg told Davos attendees that her warning last year that “our house is on fire” had achieved nothing, as global emissions of carbon dioxide continue to rise.

Read: Greta Thunberg and other young climate activists tell Davos elites they aren’t doing enough

The Associated Press contributed.

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