Trudeau swipes at Trump: US leadership on climate ‘has been sorely missed’


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday swiped at former President Trump during his first bilateral meeting with President Biden, praising the current administration for its early commitment to addressing climate change.

“Thank you again for stepping up in such a big way on tacking climate change,” Trudeau said in opening remarks of the meeting, which took place over video due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“U.S. leadership has been sorely missed over the … past years,” he continued. “And I have to say, as we are preparing the joint rollout and communique from this one, it’s nice when the Americans aren’t pulling out all references to climate change and instead adding them in. So we’re really excited to be working with you on that.”

The comments were a clear shot at Biden’s predecessor, who rolled back environmental regulations and left the Paris climate accords. Trump also rankled allies during diplomatic meetings on multiple occasions with his views on climate change.

In August 2019 the former president skipped a session at the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in France focused on climate, biodiversity and oceans. The heads of government of the other six nations that comprise the G-7 were all at the session.

A group of 20 diplomats said at the end of last February’s summit that the U.S. opposed including climate change as an economic risk in a final joint communique.

Biden has made reversing many of Trump’s decisions around climate change a key part of his first weeks in office. He rejoined the Paris climate agreement, re-established the Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and announced he would host a climate summit with world leaders on Earth Day.

Biden also revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, a win for environmental groups that frustrated Trudeau given the potential economic fallout.

Biden and Trudeau are expected on Tuesday to detail “The U.S.-Canada Partnership Roadmap,” which will outline how the two countries plan to collaborate on combating the pandemic, national security issues, climate and the economy.

The two sides are expected to announce the formation of a climate ministerial, as well as other initiatives, such as reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Tags Climate change Donald Trump G20 G7 Joe Biden Justin Trudeau Paris Climate Accords Paris climate agreement
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