US President Donald Trump denounced climate activists who he described as “the prophets of doom”, in a speech at the Economic Forum in Davos.
Trump called for rejecting “prophecies of the end of the world”, saying that the United States would defend its economy.
Trump did not directly name the young climate activist, Greta Thunberg, who was in the audience.
Greta denounced when she spoke, political leaders, saying that the world “if you don’t notice, is burning.”
The issue of environmental destruction topped the agenda of the annual summit.
In his speech, Trump said that the time is now a time for optimism, not pessimism, praising the achievements of his economic administration and the recovery of the US energy sector.
Trump said, referring to climate activists: “These forebears are always calling for the same thing, which is the domination of power, control of all aspects of our lives and their transformation.”
Trump was speaking shortly before he began his trial in the US Senate.
Greta sharply criticized politicians and business leaders for what she said was the continuation of “empty words and promises.”
Greta avoids mentioning Trump by name, but she points her warning to world leaders.
Addressing them, she said: “I wonder, what is the reason for your failure that you will mention to your children, and why did you let them face climate chaos that you caused it? It is a very bad thing for the economy to decide surrendered individuals who ignore the idea of guaranteeing living conditions in the future, without even trying?”
“Our house is still burning. Your inaction is burning more every hour, and we tell you to act as if you love your children more than anything else.”
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Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz criticized Trump’s speech. Reuters news agency quoted him as saying that he was “shocked” and that he spoke “as if what we see with our own eyes is not present.”
German Green Party leader Robert Happick was also critical of his criticism.
Describing the letter, he said, “It was a compliment for the self, characterized by ignorance, and not paying any attention to any person, nor aware of the problems of the world. It was the worst speech I have ever heard.”
The United States withdrew from the Paris climate deal, which Trump described as a “bad deal.” The withdrawal will take effect after the day the presidential elections are held in 2020, assuming Trump will win.