While in Davos Trump tells teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg to put her focus elsewhere

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — President Donald Trump says 17-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg should not focus on the United States, but other continents that are spewing fumes into the atmosphere.

Trump and Thunberg have clashed in the past and did so again this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Trump said Wednesday that he would have loved to have seen the Swedish activist’s speech at the gathering, but also said – without mentioning her name – that some people are “unrealistic” about climate change and seek changes that would interrupt people trying to live their lives.

He noted that other countries have dumped tons of garbage into the Pacific Ocean and is now floating toward the United States. Trump says Thunberg should focus on that.

On Tuesday he described climate activists as “perennial prophets of doom.”

Thunberg, who shot to fame a year ago by staging a regular strike at her school and sparked a global environmental movement, wasted no time in coming back at Trump, saying that she and her supporters will not give up.

He announced that the U.S. will join in an initiative to plant 1 trillion trees worldwide. Thunberg says that’s nice, but it’s “nowhere near enough.”


1:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump says U.S. economic growth is the buzz at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, but reporters are focused on the impeachment trial underway back in Washington.

Trump held a news conference Wednesday before leaving the gathering of top business and political leaders where he rattled off a long list of positive economic statistics, and then took questions about his impeachment.

He says he’ll leave it to the Senate as to whether there will be witnesses called during his impeachment trial.

Trump says in the run-up to the trial, the Democrats talked about the “tremendous case” they had, but “they don’t have a case.”

He again called the impeachment a “hoax” and a “witch hunt” that started right after he was elected.


12:30 p.m.

The president of the European Union’s executive says the bloc’s move toward a climate neutral continent by 2050 will force its trading partners to put in extra effort if they want to do business with the EU.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the World Economic Forum in Davos that “there is no point in only reducing greenhouse gas emissions at home, if we increase the import of CO2 from abroad. It is not only a climate issue; it is also an issue of fairness.”

Von der Leyen wants to avoid a situation where EU countries reduce emissions as part of their ambition to make the continent carbon neutral by 2050, but at the same time import CO2 imbedded in goods.

She said in its attempt to pursue a cleaner and climate neutral economy, the EU also needs to protect its industries and workers. She says a carbon border tax on imports could be necessary, but she would instead prefer that the bloc’s global partners match the EU commitments.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been promoting the idea of a carbon tax at the bloc’s borders for countries that did not sign up to the 2015 Paris climate deal agreement and do not regulate CO2 emissions as strictly as the EU does.

12:10 p.m.

A French government official says that France agreed to delay implementation of its tech tax until November as a gesture of goodwill ahead of Wednesday’s discussions in exchange for an American promise to drop threats of new tariffs.

The official says France is not shelving or suspending the tax, and that digital companies will still pay some kind of tax on their 2020 French revenues. The official says it will either be the French tax or a new international one brokered by the OECD.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because a public announcement has not been made yet on the move.