Trump, Greta Thunberg clash at Davos over climate change
Updated: 2020-01-22 16:03:31 KST
Two of the most high-profile attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos ensured it was impossible to miss the annual meeting.
U.S. President Donald Trump and teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, carried on their indirect debate on climate change.
In his keynote speech on Tuesday, local time, President Trump revealed that the U.S. will join the initiative to plant one trillion trees.
"Today, I'm pleased to announce the United States will join one trillion trees initiative being launched here at the World Economic Forum. One trillion trees."
While this year's forum is focused on how businesses must change to save the planet, President Trump's more than 30-minute long speech was devoted to highlighting the importance of the oil and gas industries, with promises on climate change nowhere to be found.
Instead, he warned against listening to the (quote) "prophets of doom."
"This is not a time for pessimism. This is a time for optimism. Fear and doubt is not a good thought process because this is a time for tremendous hope and joy and optimism in action. But to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse."
Sitting in the audience for the speech was Thunberg.
Speaking shortly after President Trump's special address, the Swedish activist took aim at Trump and other world leaders, accusing them of doing nothing and making empty promises on climate change.
"You say children shouldn't worry. You say just leave this to us. We will fix this. We promise we won't let you down. Don't be so pessimistic. And then, nothing. Silence. Or something worse than silence. Empty words and promises which give the impression that sufficient action is being taken."
She also criticized the lack of action to reduce carbon emissions when the world is in her words "on fire".
"I wonder what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing a climate chaos that you knowingly brought upon them? That it seemed so bad for the economy that we decided to resign the idea of securing future living conditions, without even trying? Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour."
Their mutual dislike of each other has been in the spotlight since last year.
Their last encounter was at the UN last September.
Photos and videos of Thunberg glaring at President Trump as he passed by after the climate change summit went viral at the time.
It was followed by a tweet by the American leader, saying Thunberg should work on her anger management issues.
Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.