Speed Reads

'I wasn't real happy'

Obama slams Trump over 'active hostility toward climate science' at COP26

Former President Barack Obama criticized his successor and the Republican Party for what he described as "active hostility toward climate science" during remarks at the COP26 climate summit on Monday.

The 44th president told attendees in Glasgow that "time really is running out" to address climate change, warning not "nearly enough" has been done so far and that "collectively and individually, we are still falling short." He also criticized former President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. 

"Some of our progress stalled when my successor decided to unilaterally pull out of the Paris agreement in his first year in office," Obama said. "I wasn't real happy about that." 

Even so, Obama said despite "four years of active hostility toward climate science coming from the very top of our federal government," the United States was able to continue "moving forward." The U.S. rejoined the Paris agreement after President Biden took office, so Obama said the U.S. is now "once again engaged." 

Later in the speech, Obama said he wishes he had a "stable congressional majority that was willing and eager to take action" to fight climate change while he was president. But he argued both his administration and Biden's have been "constrained, in large part, by the fact that one of our two major parties has decided not only to sit on the sidelines, but express active hostility toward climate science and make climate change a partisan issue." The former president urged voters to "reward politicians who take this problem seriously, and send out of office those who don't," and he closed by encouraging young people to "stay angry" while pushing for progress on the issue. 

Biden previously offered an apology at the climate summit for Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris agreement, saying this put the U.S. "behind the eight ball a little bit."