Published: Wed, January 22, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Trump takes on Thunberg and 'pessimism' at Davos

Trump takes on Thunberg and 'pessimism' at Davos

The two-day visit will test Trump's ability to balance his anger over being impeached with a desire to project leadership on the world stage.

"Today I'm proud to declare the United States is in the midst of an economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before", he said, vowing to never to let "radical socialists destroy our economy".

Although the world, through the Paris climate deal, has committed to keeping temperatures well below 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and endeavoured to keep the rise to 1.5C, scientists say we are well off that target.

"People are more aware now. climate and environment are a hot topic now".

Business leaders attending the forum will be keen to tout their awareness on climate change but are likely also to be concerned by the state of the global economy whose prospects, according to the International Monetary Fund, have improved but remain brittle.

It was, predictably, a rather different speech from the US President to open the 50th World Economic Forum.

After days of uncertainty over whether Trump would actually attend the meeting in Davos, especially considering his impeachment trial in the underway, the US president landed in the Swiss Alps on Tuesday.

"The Fed raised rates too quickly and has lowered them too slowly", Trump said, taking aim at the central bank's policy decisions.

"He's for China and I'm for the USA, but other than that, we love each other", Trump said.

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Mr Trump told business and political leaders gathered at the Swiss ski resort that it was a time for optimism, not pessimism in a speech that touted his administration's economic achievements.

Zelensky is set to address forum participants, according to the president's press service.

Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, center, attends the Trump's speech Tuesday. Her husband, and fellow senior White House adviser, Kushner whisked past reporters, dashing from meeting to meeting, without stopping for questions.

Trump's remarks were largely focused on America's economy as an example to other nations, which he urged to cut regulations and taxes.

And with activist Greta Thunberg in the audience, it was clear who he was talking about when he took a swipe at "the perennial prophets of doom".

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz criticized Trump for failing to address the climate emergency beyond a commitment that the US will join the trillion trees initiative.

However, Thunberg said, the struggle against climate change will require more than just general awareness.

"We right now are doing extremely well in the United States but what I want is the cleanest water, the cleanest air and that's what we're going to have". But there was one subject that sent almost all of those officials running for cover - Trump's impeachment trial back in Washington.

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