Energy & Environment

Trump rejects need for climate action at G-20: US has ‘cleanest’ water and air ‘we’ve ever had’

President Trump broke with the Group of 20 (G-20) nations on the need for climate change action on Saturday, saying the United States has the “cleanest water we have ever had.”

“We have the cleanest water we have ever had,” Trump said at a news conference at the G-20 summit in Japan. “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.”

The U.S. joined the other G-20 nations in signing on to a communique that sought to commit the countries to taking action to curb climate change. However, the U.S. reportedly signed on to the declaration only after it was able to include a clause in the document that would allow it to be exempt from commitments outlined in the agreement.

All G-20 nations will “strive to foster inclusive finance for sustainable development, including public and private financing mobilization and alignment between them, as well as innovation in a wide range of areas for low emissions and resilient development,” the communique stated. 

{mosads}”Climate actions at all levels with broad participation, including by non-state actors, will be the key to realizing such a paradigm shift,” it continued while reaffirming the G-20 nations’ commitment to the Paris climate accord and the agreement’s “irreversibility.”

However, breaking from the other 19 nations in the joint declaration, the United States said in the communique that it “reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement because it disadvantages American workers and taxpayers.”

“The U.S.’s balanced approach to energy and environment allows for the delivery of affordable, reliable, and secure energy to all its citizens while utilizing all energy sources and technologies, including clean and advanced fossil fuels and technologies, renewables, and civil nuclear power, while also reducing emissions and promoting economic growth,” it added.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Trump said, “I’m not sure that I agree with certain countries with what they are doing. They are losing a lot of power. I am talking about the powering of a plant.”

“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 [is] just not strong enough, and a lot of them want to go to wind, which has caused a lot of problems,” he continued, according to The Washington Post.

“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,” he added.

His comments came shortly after a report citing federal data from The Associated Press showed that the country experienced a stark increase in polluted air days in each of the past two years compared to any of the previous four years under the Obama administration.

Earlier this year, data from the Environmental Protection Agency also found that reductions in greenhouse gas emissions slowed greatly under the Trump administration in 2017 as his office continues to work to roll back Obama-era regulations designed to reduce emissions of the harmful gasses.

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