Donald Trump has again dismissed the need to tackle climate change by saying the US has the cleanest air and water “ever”.
The president, speaking at the G20 Summit in Japan, also claimed that wind power “does not work” because it has to be heavily subsidised.
“We have the cleanest water we have ever had, we have the cleanest air we’ve ever had, but I’m not willing to sacrifice the tremendous power of what we’ve built up over a long period of time and what I’ve enhanced and revived,” he said.
“I’m not sure that I agree with certain countries with what they are doing, they are losing a lot of power. I am talking about the powering of a plant.
“It doesn’t always work with a windmill. When the wind goes off, the plant isn’t working. It doesn’t always work with solar because solar’s just not strong enough, and a lot of them want to go to wind, which has caused a lot of problems.
“Wind doesn’t work for the most part without subsidy. The United States is paying tremendous amounts of subsidies for wind. I don’t like it, I don’t like it.”
Defending his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Accord, Mr Trump denied he was “ignoring” the problem but claimed that trying to take action on global warming would affect the American economy.
“We have the best numbers we’ve ever had recently, and I’m not looking to put our companies out of business,” he said.
“I’m not looking to create a standard that is so high that we’re going to lose 20 to 25 per cent of our production.”
The president has previously described climate change as a “hoax” and dismissed the problem as a “change in the weather”.
In previous interviews and on campaign rallies he has claimed the US has “among the cleanest climates”.
However, earlier this week vice-president Mike Pence, when asked if climate change was a threat, said “America has the cleanest air and water in the world”.
Challenged about the truth of this statement, he replied: “Ahh, but we’re making progress on reducing carbon emissions.”