Former President Barack Obama has resurfaced in Milan, Italy, for a conference on climate change. Obama, who, upon becoming president, promised to heal the planet and lower sea levels, told the world in Italy that the world is facing a crisis of epic proportions.
Obama delivered the keynote speech Tuesday morning at the “Seeds & Chips” summit that hopes to “bring food and technology together, from farm to fork and beyond.”
“During the course of my presidency, I made climate change a top priority because I believe that of all the challenges that we face, this is the one that will define the contours of this century, more dramatically perhaps than any other,” the former president said in Milan, per CNN. “We have been able to bring our emissions down even as we grow our economy. The same is true in many parts of Europe.”
Surprisingly, the former president did not take any direct shots at the Trump administration.
“The current administration has differences with my administration in terms of energy policy, and that’s part of what happens in democracy. So there will be useful debate that takes place in America,” Obama said.
Obama’s speech comes as warring factions in the Trump administration are battling over whether to renege from the Paris climate agreement. The progressive wing, which is led by Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have pushed the president to keep Obama’s climate pledge. The conservative and nationalist factions oppose the measure. The president can simply withdraw from the 2015 accord, since it was not passed into law by Congress.
The president was supposed to host a meeting Tuesday with top advisers to discuss the merits of the climate agreement. However, that meeting has been postponed due to scheduling issues, CNN reports.
While running for president, Trump promised to cancel the climate agreement.
“We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop all payments of United States tax dollars to UN global warming programs,” the president said in May 2016. “This agreement gives foreign bureaucrats control over how much our energy and how much we use right here in America. So foreign bureaucrats are gonna be controlling what we’re using and what we’re doing on our land in our country. No way. No way.”