US President Donald Trump has made one of his usual tub-thumping speeches to an audience of political, academic and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Trump took to the stage at the landmark 50th forum hailing an American economic boom with an appetite for new trade deals with countries like Mexico, China and Britain.
He also boasted his administration had overseen the creation of more than 7 million jobs and a resurgent economy despite the ‘wreckage’ left by former President Barack Obama.
The speech also knocked climate change protesters personified by Swedish teen Greta Thurnberg, warning: “We must reject the perennial prophets of doom.
“This is not a time for pessimism. This is a time for optimism.
Climate change pledges followed by no action
“I’m a big believer in the environment. The environment to me is very important. What I want is the cleanest water and the cleanest air.”
Trump promised to plant a trillion trees around the world to help tackle climate change
His words were greeted with warm applause – but he was followed by Thurnberg speaking at a Davos fringe event to a packed room. She praised his tree planting initiative but slammed the move as not enough.
“Planting trees is good, of course, but it’s nowhere near enough, and it cannot replace real mitigation and rewilding nature,” she said.
“We don’t need to lower emissions. Emissions need to stop.
“I’d been warned that telling people to panic about the climate crisis is a very dangerous thing to do.
“But don’t worry, it’s fine.
Technology heads agenda
“Trust me, I’ve done this before, and I can assure you that it doesn’t lead to anything.
“And for the record, when children tell you to panic, we’re not telling you to go on like before.
“We’re not telling you to rely on technologies that don’t exist at scale yet, and perhaps never will.”
Besides the global economy and climate change, the Davos agenda is technology heavy, with debates about artificial intelligence widely expected to dominate the topic.
Making a special address anticipated to touch on the issue is China’s vice premier Han Zheng.