By Kadia Tubman | Yahoo News
President Trump made an unexpected appearance at Monday’s U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City, dropping in for a session in the United Nations General Assembly and surprising many of the attendees before heading off to meetings with other world leaders.
U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, the summit’s host, described Trump’s unannounced attendance as a “step forward,” while Michael Bloomberg, who sat on a panel about achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, also thanked Trump for showing up.
“Hopefully our conversations here today will be helpful to you as you make climate policy,” Bloomberg said, drawing applause and laughter from the guests in the hall.
Trump has described climate change as a “hoax,” and, in 2017, pulled the United States out of the Paris climate agreement that seeks to lower carbon emissions.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said countries “must honor our commitments and follow through on the Paris Agreement.”
“The withdrawal of certain parties will not shake the collective goal of the world community,” Wang said.
After departing the summit, Trump told reporters he is “a big believer in clean air and clean water, and all countries should get together and do that, and they should do it for themselves.”
Trump’s appearance at the summit was overshadowed by that of Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who scolded world leaders for failing to take action to curb carbon emissions and prevent what scientists see as an existential threat to life on Earth.
“This is all wrong,” Thunberg said in a blistering speech. “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
“You say you hear us and understand the urgency, but no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that,” she added. “Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.”
The teenager was among 16 children to file a legal complaint with the United Nations on Monday, accusing five countries — France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, and Turkey — of not doing enough to combat climate change.
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