By Lise Alves, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Calling himself an ‘environmentalist’ U.S. President, Donald Trump, dismissed criticism about his absence at the G7 session where leaders of Germany, France, UK, Canada, Italy and Japan discussed climate change, biodiversity and how to further cut carbon emissions.
“I want the cleanest water on Earth. I want the cleanest air on Earth,” Trump told reporters on Monday, after missing out on the session in which world leaders talked about aiding Brazil and Bolivia with the current fires that are devastating the Amazon forest.
Leaders decided to offer the region $20 million euros to help combat the fires and deforestation.
“I’m an environmentalist, a lot of people don’t understand that. I have done more environmental impact statements probably than anybody that’s … ever been president. And I think I know more about the environment than most people,” added Trump.
Later in the afternoon, French President, and host of this year’s G7 summit in the coastal town of Biarritz, Emmanuel Macron tried to justify his colleague’s absence to reporters.
“He wasn’t in the room, but his team was,” Macron said. “The U.S. are with us on biodiversity and on the Amazon initiative.”
In his comments to reporters, the U.S. leader also shunned clean energy programs, hinting that fossil fuel energy was the future of his country.
“I feel that the United States has tremendous wealth. The wealth is under its feet. I’m not going to lose that wealth, I’m not going to lose it on dreams, on windmills, which frankly aren’t working too well,” said Trump.
President Trump’s less than firm stance on climate change is no surprise, say analysts.
In 2017, he pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, stating that the agreement ‘punished the United States, […] world’s leader in environmental protection while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world’s leading polluters’.