On Sunday, President Donald Trump participated in one of his last major events as the nation’s chief executive — a virtual summit of G-20 world leaders. Trump delivered brief remarks for the event from the White House, where he touted his administration’s ostensible progress on environmental protection issues. He insisted that throughout his administration, his team has “made incredible strides to ensure that the United States is among the cleanest air and the cleanest water on the planet,” but he failed to mention majorly regressive steps that they’ve taken on environmental issues.
For instance, the Trump administration has fought against strict fuel efficiency standards for the automobile industry, and they’ve narrowed the scope of waterways that are under federal supervision. Trump’s examples of his administration’s supposed greatness on environmental protection issues included millions of dollars in government spending that he described as meant to help protect children from lead exposure in drinking water, a pledge to plant one billion trees, and government funding for National Parks. He also cited clean-up work by the Environmental Protection Agency — although with Trump in charge, this agency has also been a vanguard of the administration’s attacks on environmental protections like the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.
During his G-20 remarks, Trump also attacked the Paris Climate Accord, which he moved to withdraw the United States from not long after taking office. He characterized the accord as some kind of conspiracy against the American economy, which is nonsense.
Trump said as follows:
‘To protect American workers, I withdrew the United States from the unfair and one-sided Paris Climate Accord — a very unfair act for the United States. The Paris Accord was not designed to save the environment — it was designed to kill the American economy. I refused to surrender millions of American jobs and send trillions of American dollars to the world’s worst polluters and environmental offenders, and that’s what would have happened… Every day we are proving that we can protect our workers, create new jobs, and safeguard the environment without imposing crippling mandates and one-sided international agreements on our citizens.’
Check out Trump’s comments below:
President Trump in virtual G-20 remarks: "The Paris Accord was not designed to save the environment — it was designed to kill the American economy." pic.twitter.com/kNe6fseZ9i
— The Hill (@thehill) November 22, 2020
Trump’s understanding of critical environmental issues has frequently proven stunningly hollow. For instance, he’s harped on and on about the supposed existential threat to bird populations from windmills, despite the fact that cats kill exponentially more birds than windmills do every year — and once, he even claimed (ludicrously) that the noise from windmills causes cancer!