President Donald Trump submitted a pre-recorded speech for the virtual G20 climate event on Sunday, and his commentary baffled environmentalists online. Trump's speech on the final day of the international summit focused on the soaring profits of oil and natural gas production in the U.S., rather than on protecting natural resources. Trump also impugned the Paris climate accord, which he pulled the U.S. out of during his presidency.
Trump got a lot of criticism online for his final appearance at the G20 summit as president. According to a report by CNN, he spoke from the White House's Diplomatic Room, in a pre-recorded speech that aired during the virtual event with other world leaders. Trump continued to condemn the Paris agreement, claiming that it "was not designed to save the environment, it was designed to kill the American economy."
President Donald Trump used his final G20 summit to defend his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord pic.twitter.com/WBbwqvSbjd— Reuters (@Reuters) November 22, 2020
"I refuse to surrender millions of American jobs and send trillions of American dollars to the world's worst polluters and environmental offenders, and that's what would have happened," Trump claimed. He also called the international environmental pact "one-sided," though President-elect Joe Biden says that he will re-enter the agreement as soon as he is sworn in in January.
Trump's commentary was far out of tune with the rest of the speakers at the event, leading some social media critics to wonder whether he had watched any other parts of the summit at all. Trump's participation in the G20 summit was uncertain from the start, and on Saturday, he appeared in the summit from the White House Situation Room, though at the same time he was tweeting conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election out of frame.
Later in the afternoon, Trump was at his private golf course while the remainder of the summit took place. All in all, viewers wondered how Trump could condemn something so fully without listening to the experts on the topic at the esteemed event. Here is a look at the backlash Trump got.
Out of Place
@realDonaldTrump making an ass of himself by showing face to a meeting he knows nothing about: trying to contain a pandemic and coordinate a global response. He goes off the rails to world leaders about the Paris Climate Accord-showing even more clearly how disassociated he is. https://t.co/Tb3dfdsmhn— SNAFU (@LinDorton) November 22, 2020
Many commenters were angry at Trump for attending a meeting where they believed he lacked the expertise of other leaders, and representing the entire U.S. in the same way. They wondered if he understood the gulf between his own understanding of climate science and that of the other leaders.prevnext
How can this guy say the US is the cleanest, in terms of the environment, and that it is the largest producer of oil and gas in the world in tje same sentence 🤔🤔😲😲😭😭😭 https://t.co/qWj1Sdu9So— harold molepo (@harrymolepo) November 22, 2020
he should go down in history as an environmental criminal https://t.co/W9TxWHbQj4— Glyn Moody (@glynmoody) November 22, 2020
Some users pointed out the inconsistencies in Trump's speech, including some that were contained in a single sentence. Others thought that Trump's legacy would include a major stain for the damage he did to the environment.prevnext
I'm gonna guess that one reason that Trump walked away from the G20 is because every world leader kept asking and talking about the "incoming U.S. president," as they naturally would, and his fragile ego couldn't take it.— The Rude Pundit (@rudepundit) November 22, 2020
Some speculated that Trump might have lost interest in events with other world leaders since he will not be among them in two months. They figured Trump might have wanted to leave to avoid questions about his successor.prevnext
Didn’t Biden say one of his first acts as POTUS will be to rejoin the Paris Accord....Trump is now an irrelevance— Daniel Spring (@fatsculler) November 22, 2020
Many of Trump's critics were glad that Biden has promised to rejoin the Paris clime accords, meaning that this strange move by the president will be undone and rendered irrelevant.prevnext
Imagine the world conspiring against the U.S disguised as a climate accord to ruin our economy. That's some next level Scarlet Overkill plotting going on— Mike Prochaska (@Mike_Pro_UIU) November 22, 2020
Some users mocked Trump's commentary on the Paris accords, believing that he was sharing more unbelievable conspiracy theories. They thought that it would require mental gymnastics to believe in such a conspiracy, while not believing in climate change itself.prevnext
58 days until I no longer have to listen to his lies.— Alicia Ramirez (@aLiciaLokita512) November 22, 2020
100% ready to say goodbye to this man 👋 https://t.co/KRIjG4eSRr— Björn Fondén 🌍 (@bjornfonden) November 22, 2020
For many users, stories like this one are just another part of their countdown to inauguration day, when Biden takes office and Trump leaves.prevnext
There is no shame in this man. Thank God the rest of the world knows the Biden administration is coming. https://t.co/zPTdjdVlX7— WeAreBetter ThanThis (@RBetrThanThis) November 22, 2020
Some viewers were hopeful that the other world leaders would not identify the U.S. with Trump, but with Biden instead.prev