Obama decries 'temporary absence of American leadership' on climate change
© Getty Images

Former President Obama on Saturday decried an "absence" of U.S. leadership in international efforts to combat climate change. 

“I grant you that at the moment we have a temporary absence of American leadership on the issue,” Obama said at an invitation-only event in Paris, according to Reuters.

Obama did not explicitly mention President Trump in his remarks on Saturday. But his comments amounted to a thinly veiled jab at his successor, who announced earlier this year that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Paris deal was struck under the Obama administration, and amounted to the first coordinated global effort to lower carbon emissions and slow climate change.

But Trump railed against the agreement as a presidential candidate, before announcing his intent to pull out of it after taking office. He has argued that the deal would stymie economic growth in the U.S., while allowing other countries, like China and India, to flourish.

According to Reuters, Obama said Saturday that, despite Trump's intended withdrawal, the U.S. is still on track to meet its commitments under the agreement as a result of states, cities and businesses seeking to abide by the terms of the deal.

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, last month, a coalition of U.S. cities, states and businesses laid out an ambitious plan to meet the United States's pledge under the accord.