President Trump declared himself “an environmentalist” who knows “more about the environment than most people” hours after skipping a Group of Seven (G-7) summit meeting with world leaders focused on climate, oceans and biodiversity.
At a closing press conference before departing the summit held in Biarritz, France, Trump was asked whether he still harbors skepticism about climate change.
“I’m an environmentalist. A lot of people don’t understand that,” Trump said, citing his experience filing environmental impact statements for real estate developments.
“I think I know more about the environment than most people,” he added. “I want clean air. I want clean water. I want a wealthy country. I want a spectacular country with jobs, with pensions, with so many things. And that’s what we’re getting.”
“At the same time, it’s very important to me … we have to maintain this incredible place that we’ve all built,” Trump continued. The U.S. has “become a much richer country. And that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Because that wealth allows us to take care of people.”
Trump, who has in the past characterized climate change as a hoax and mocked the idea of global warming, made the remarks hours after he skipped a G-7 session focused on climate while the heads of government of the other six nations that comprise the G-7 were there.
Trump’s administration has rolled back a number of environmental protections enacted by the Obama administration and withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement that seeks to combat global emissions.
“I’m not going to lose that wealth,” Trump said on Monday. “I’m not going to lose that on dreams. On windmills.”
“I’m an environmentalist…I think I know more about the environment than most people.”
- Donald Trump, at end of G7 press conference, after attacking windmills and promoting more energy drilling pic.twitter.com/cXHw1PGFUv
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 26, 2019