Former President Barack Obama criticized Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris Agreement in a speech on Monday.
Obama spoke at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, where he criticized many world and U.S. leaders for their lack of action when came to climate change.
“I have to confess it was particularly discouraging to see the leaders of two of the world’s largest emitters China and Russia declined to even attend the proceedings,” he said. “‘Their national plans so far reflect what appears to be a dangerous lack of urgency or willingness to maintain the status quo on the part of those governments and that’s a shame.”
Obama turned his attention to the United States, where he condemned Republican politicians for their “active hostility” toward climate change and for making it a “partisan issue.”
“For those listening back home in the U.S., let me say this: It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat if your Florida house is flooded by rising seas, or your crops fail in the Dakotas or your California house is burning down.”
The former president avoided naming Trump, but expressed his frustration with Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris agreement.
“Some of our progress stalled when my successor decided to unilaterally pull out of the Paris Agreement in his first year in office,’” he said. “I wasn’t real happy about that.”
“I recognize that we’re living in a moment when international cooperation has atrophied,” Obama continued. “In part because of the pandemic, in part because of the rise of nationalism and tribal impulses around the world, in part because of a lack of leadership on America’s part for four years on a host of multilateral issues.”
The former president also addressed protestors: “Protests are necessary to raise awareness, hashtag campaigns can spread awareness...But to build the broad-based coalitions necessary for bold action, we have to persuade people who either currently don’t agree with us, or are indifferent to the issue.”