A 'trillion trees' is not enough: Thunberg vs Trump

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 21, 2020 - Duration: 02:06s

A 'trillion trees' is not enough: Thunberg vs Trump

Thousands of miles away from his impeachment trial in Washington, President Trump was in Davos where he pledged to plant join an initiative to plant trillion trees.

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered her retort.

Joe Davies reports.

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A 'trillion trees' is not enough: Thunberg vs Trump

Thousands of miles away from his impeachment trial in Washington, President Trump was in Davos on Tuesday (January 21).

At the World Economic Forum where climate change has been talk of the town, the president had an environmental pledge of his own.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We're committed to conserving the majesty of God's creation and the natural beauty of our world.

Today, I'm pleased to announce the United States will join one trillion trees initiative being launched here at the World Economic Forum.

One trillion trees." But in an apparent rebuke to the initiative, the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg says simply planting trees isn't enough to combat climate change.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CLIMATE ACTIVIST, GRETA THUNBERG, SAYING: "We are not telling you to offset your emissions by just paying someone else to plant trees in places in Africa, while at the same time forests like the Amazon are being slaughtered at an infinitely higher rate.

Planting trees is good of course, but it is no where near enough of what is needed, and it cannot replace real mitigation and rewilding nature." President Trump has never been afraid to speak his mind.

In the same speech he derided what he called the "pessimism" of activists predicting the "apocalypse." On China, off the back of an initial trade deal with China signed last week, he was sounding more positive about America's relationship with the country.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We went through a very rough patch but it's never ever been better.

My relationship with President Xi is an extraordinary one.

He's for China, I'm for the U.S. but other than that we love each other".

This was a speech though focused largely on America and its economy.

And with an election looming, his message was clear.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We've regained our stride, rediscovered our spirit and reawakened the powerful machinery of American enterprise.

America's thriving, America's flourishing.

And yes, America is winning again like never before."

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