Tuesday, 29 September, 2020

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says Greta Thunberg can criticize 'after she studies economics'

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption"We must reject the perennial prophets of doom- Trump
Deanna Wagner | 24 January, 2020, 19:38

Just as the spat between US President Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg seemed to be subsiding, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has taken a new dig at the climate activist. The Saudis, who have the presidency of the group this year, have been in the spotlight at Davos after a United Nations investigation alleged that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had hacked the phone of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, something the Saudis deny.

"Thunberg, who has been outspoken about the lack of progress on climate change, tweeted Thursday that "it doesn't take a college degree in economics" to realize that our remaining 1.5° carbon budget and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and investments don't add up".

Mr Mnuchin's quip came two days after Mr Trump and Ms Thunberg sparred indirectly at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

In a speech on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump castigated the "prophets of doom" and those that predicted a climate "apocalypse", while Thunberg sat in the audience.

Her latest tweet came after Mnuchin dismissed Thunberg as unqualified to weigh in on USA environmental policy at a press conference on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The 50th annual meeting of the forum will take place in Davos from January 21 until January 24, 2020.

Mnuchin insisted that USA policy has been misinterpreted, and that Trump "absolutely believes" in a clean environment.

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"I think that there's a real misinterpretation of the USA policy", he said.

"I guess you're very used to this", Thunberg can be heard saying to the prince.

"That's an absolute priority of President Trump and we expect to complete that with them this year, which we think will be great for them and great for us", he added. This is nothing against China and India but the real environmental issues right now are in both those countries.

Nobel laureate William Nordhaus, a 77-year-old professor of economics at Mnuchin's alma mater, Yale University, is widely considered the "father of climate change economics" and has long argued that the economic benefits of reducing climate-harming emissions outweigh the costs.

"That is of course what we're trying to achieve", Thunberg said.

"We need to start listening to the science, and treat this crisis with the importance it deserves", The New York Times cited Thunberg as saying.