ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden stressed the need Wednesday to address global warming, despite President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, and voiced confidence that the U.S. can overcome its current introspective phase.
Biden said that it is “overwhelmingly” in the interest of future generations to deal with climate change, “notwithstanding what some of the folks in this administration may think.”
Biden said his first report from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when he took office, identified global warming as the greatest danger to U.S. physical security — through population displacement and war.
Speaking at a conference in Athens , Biden said: “The vast majority of the American people do not agree with the decision the president made.”
As vice president Biden, supported former President Barack Obama’s efforts to take part in the Paris accord and fight the effects of climate change.
On Wednesday, he also underscored the key significance for the U.S. of European security and the trans-Atlantic alliance.
“I know at this moment there are questions about what kind of leadership the world can expect from the United States of America, going forward,” Biden said. “But I want to be very clear that there is still in the United States of America a strong bipartisan consensus, especially in the United States Congress, that European security is vital to U.S. security.”
“The United States has had moments of turning inwards in the past. But we’ve always overcome them, just as we will overcome this,” he said.
“History has proven that the defense of free nations in Europe has always, always, always, been in America’s best interests and is America’s fight.”
Speaking at the same event, former U.S. Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte described the Trump administration as still being on a “learning curve.”
“We now have a president who has literally no government experience and I’m not sure yet appreciates the difference between governmental work and private sector work,” he said. “The real question we all face, looking at this now from a United States perspective: is just how long is just how long is this learning curve going to be? And in the end, is he really going to learn?”
Biden met later Wednesday with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.