World leaders at the G-20 summit this Saturday in Buenos Aires signed a pledge to fix the world trading system, but when it came to expressing support for the Paris Climate Agreement, the enthusiasm wasn’t unanimous, The Hill reports.
According to the pledge’s signatories, 19 world leaders promised to reaffirmed to commitment to the Paris agreement, but President Trump was the sole holdout.
Trump has been a consistent critic of the Paris agreement since it was adopted by representatives from 196 state parties in December of 2012 and has also been a vocal skeptic of climate change.
Speaking to The Washington Post this Tuesday, Trump dismissed the scientific consensus on climate change and said people with “high intelligence” such as himself tend not to believe it.
“One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers,” Trump said. “You look at our air and our water and it’s right now at a record clean.”
Trump’s interview came after his administration downplayed a government report on the dangers of climate change, saying that it was exaggerated and is based on a worst-case scenario.
“If you take the extreme case, you’re right, it’s dire,” Trump’s interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, told Fox News. “If you take the best case, it’s not much.”
Zinke, who’s been a proponent of fossil fuel production on public lands, said destruction due to climate change is about as probable as a nuclear war.
“If you look at nuclear war, today we’re going to go home to a bunker and wear a hazardous suit,” he said. “That’s not the case.”
Acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Andrew Wheeler took a slightly more conspiratorial approach, saying that he “wouldn’t be surprised if the Obama administration told the report’s authors to take a look at the worst-case scenario for this report.”
In 2014, Trump claimed that climate change is a “hoax.”
“NBC News just called it the great freeze — coldest weather in years,” Trump tweeted on January 25, 2014. “Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?”
Four days later, he cited the fact that is was snowing in certain parts of the country as evidence against “global warming.”
“Snowing in Texas and Louisiana, record setting freezing temperatures throughout the country and beyond,” he tweeted on January 29, 2014. “Global warming is an expensive hoax!”
Featured image via screen grab/YouTube