I was not very happy about that: Obama takes a dig at Trump at COP26

WION Web Team
Glasgow Updated: Nov 08, 2021, 08:25 PM(IST)

Former US President Barack Obama at COP26 Photograph:( AFP )

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Former US President Barack Obama urged people gathered at COP26 to work together.

Former US President Barack Obama arrived in Glasgow to address the United Nations climate conference or COP26.

"We have to act now to help with adaptation and resilience," the former US president told the delegates at COP26 as he recalled his childhood experiences while growing up in Hawaii.

Also Read: Australia vows to sell coal for 'decades into the future' 

"Our islands are threatened more than ever," Obama said while adding that wealthy nations have an "added burden" to ensure help is provided to those who are more vulnerable.

“It's a reminder that if you all want to paddle a canoe you better all be rowing in the same direction and at the same time, every oar has to move in unison, that's the only way that you move forward,” the former US president said as he urged people gathered at COP26 to work together.

Also Read: Climate activists mock COP26 menu over meat, fish selection  

"When it comes to the planet, time is running out, Obama said, adding, "We have not done enough, we have to do more. It depends on you, not just people present in the room."

Obama said "meaningful progress" had been achieved since the Paris agreement but there is "promise for further progress". Obama told the summit that 3 million people work in clean energy jobs in the US.

"Some of our progress stalled back in the US when my predecessor pulled out of the Paris climate agreement. I was not very happy about that," Obama said referring to the previous Trump administration.

"It was disappointing to see China and Russia not attending the event, Obama said, adding, "We need Europe, US, China, India and Russia leading on these issues." 

Obama asserted that he could have done more on climate if there was a "stable congressional majority" during his presidency as he said Biden's "build back" better would be good. "He wants to do more," the ex-US president said.

"My message to young people begins by acknowledging that you have the right to be frustrated. People of my generation have not done enough," Obama conceded.

Obama said his mother often told him to "get busy, don't sulk, change what is needed to change" and that is what young people are doing, he said.

"Greta Thunberg is doing this, we have lots of Greta in the world." 

"These young people are creating a movement across borders to make people of my generation work for the mess that they have created," he said.

"Young people understand these issues but they don't always vote," Obama added.

Several countries have vowed to end deforestation and phase out coal. However, Australia on Monday said it would continue to sell coal "decades into the future". 

Also Read: Greta Thunberg calls COP26 climate summit 'a failure'

The summit has entered the final week as countries grapple with climate change issues.  A report released during the summit said most vulnerable nations will witness a drop in GDP on average by 2050 by at least 20 per cent. Echoing Obama's thoughts, the report said small island nations are most vulnerable to rising sea levels and storms.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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