Former President Barack Obama lamented Saturday President Donald Trump’s administration’s decision to pull the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
“I grant you that at the moment we have a temporary absence of American leadership on the issue,” Obama said at an invitation-only event in Paris. Obama did not mention President Donald Trump by name, but he did allude to the administration’s move to opt out of the accord.
The U.S. remains on track to meet the agreement, he said, referring to a state-based coalition designed to fill the void left. Obama met with French President Emanuel Macron earlier in the day during a private conversation the French presidency did not publicize.
Obama did appear to recognize the frustration many Europeans are feeling about the EU’s increasing intrusion into people’s lives.
“So, there are ways of streamlining and improving the functioning of the European Union, but the European project itself, the Union itself is something that is worth preserving.”
The event was part of a three-country tour to promote the Obama Foundation. Obama said during a stop Friday in India that he cannot have a debate with someone who thinks man-made global warming is a hoax.
“I don’t know what to do with that,” Obama said, apparently referring to Trump, who suggested during the presidential campaign in 2016 that climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese. “If you’re saying it’s a hoax, then there’s no way for us to bridge our differences in a constructive way.”