On Monday, President Trump held a post-G7 press conference with French President Macron. In the last few minutes Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey asked Trump about climate change (see transcript below).
Trump missed or skipped the G7 discussion on climate, oceans, and biodiversity led by French president Macron. France is leading the Carbon Neutrality Coalition of countries that have committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, in part to make up for the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Accords.
Greta Thunberg, the youth climate leader who sailed into New York harbor on Tuesday to attend UN climate meetings, was asked if she had a message for President Trump, who has expressed skepticism about the science behind climate change, Thunberg said, “If no one has been able to convince him about the climate crisis — the urgency — then why should I be able to do that?”
TRANSCRIPT FROM POST-G7 PRESS CONFERENCE
Josh Dawsey: Mr. President, there was a significant talk at the summit about climate change. I know in the past you’ve harbored some skepticism of the science in climate change. What do you think the world should be doing about climate change? And do you still harbor that skepticism?
Trump: I feel that the United States has tremendous wealth. The wealth is under its feet. I’ve made that wealth come alive. We will soon be one of the — we will soon be exporting. In fact, we’re actually doing it now — exporting.
But we are now the number one energy producer in the world. And soon, it will be by far, with a couple of pipelines that have not been able to get approved for many, many years. It’ll have a huge impact.
I was able to get ANWR in Alaska. It could be the largest site in the world for oil and gas. I was able to get ANWR approved. Ronald Reagan wasn’t able to do it. Nobody was able to do it. They’ve been trying to do it since before Ronald Reagan. I got it approved.
We’re the number one energy producer in the world. Soon it will be, by far, the number one. It’s tremendous wealth. And LNG is being sought after all over Europe and all over the world, and we have more of it than anybody else. And I’m not going to lose that wealth. I’m not going lose it on dreams, on windmills — which, frankly, aren’t working too well. I’m not going to lose it.
So, Josh, in a nutshell, I want the cleanest water on Earth. I want the cleanest air on Earth. And that’s what we’re doing.
And I’m an environmentalist. A lot of people don’t understand that. I have done more environmental impact statements, probably, than anybody that’s — I guess I can say definitely, because I have done many, many, many of them. More than anybody that’s ever been President or Vice President or anything even close to President. And I think I know more about the environment than most people.
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. So I want to be very careful. At the same time —
Josh Dawsey: But, Mr. President, do you believe in climate change? Do you believe in climate change?
Trump: At the same time — at the same time — you weren’t called.
At the same time, it’s very important to me — very important to me — we have to maintain this incredible — this incredible place that we’ve all built. We’ve become a much richer country. And that’s a good thing, not a bad thing — because that great wealth allows us to take care of people. We can take care of people that we couldn’t have taken care of in the past because of the great wealth. We can’t let that wealth be taken away. Clean air, clean water. Thank you very much everybody. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Josh Dawsey: You didn’t answer my question Mr. President as to whether you believe that climate change is happening.
From August 26, 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D8aTigGClw [Minutes: 1:08:12 – 1:11:09]