Former President Obama spent his Friday afternoon in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia telling the world that the Paris Climate Accords were clearly the best path forward for protecting the planet.
“I took satisfaction knowing that just by setting up the mechanism, we had created the ability to overtime, turn up the standards, turn up the demands. Send a signal to businesses so that they started investing in more clean energy because they saw change coming,” Obama said per ABC News, addressing a question on the climate change crisis.
“It’s too late for us not to have some impacts,” he continued. “And so there’s gonna have to be some adaptation that’s going to take place. The oceans will be rising and that is going to displace people. And so we’re going to anticipate and care for some of the consequences of that, including large-scale migration and disruptions that are going to be very costly. But there is a big difference between the ocean rising three feet and rising six feet.”
The former president did not name President Trump in his speech but said the world has taken a step back to stop the climate crisis.
“We take two steps forward. We take one step back… but the trajectory has been positive. And the best we can then do is just do our work and try to advance it as best we can. Understanding that we will not finish the job,” Obama said. “Most of the time, the way the world’s gotten to where we are now is small incremental victories, not big sweeping victories all at once.”
ABC News adds:
Nearly 200 nations pledged to cut greenhouse emissions and help poor countries cope with the worst effects of an already warming planet under the accord signed in 2016 that was a cornerstone of Obama’s environmental legacy.
But his successor, Donald Trump, abandoned that legacy when his administration notified the U.N. last month that the U.S. would pull out of the accord. Trump has said the agreement could impede growth and impinge on U.S. sovereignty.
The United States has remained out of the accords and the Trump administration has not signaled any interest in changing that policy.