Bill Clinton criticized Republican primary candidates Tuesday for continuing to deny climate change, saying that it makes the U.S. “look like a joke.”
The former president made the remark at the seventh annual opening of the Clinton Global Initiative, while explaining that it’s time for Americans to move beyond climate change denial and begin discussing how to address it.
“I mean, it [climate change denial] makes us — we look like a joke, right?” Clinton said incredulously. “You can’t win the nomination of one of the major parties in the country if you admit that the scientists are right? That disqualifies you from doing it?”
“You could really help us there,” he challenged the audience. In order for the debate to move forward, Clinton said, constituents must make it politically unappetizing to deny climate change and demonstrate a commitment to promoting a cleaner, more efficient energy lifestyle that creates jobs.
The Clinton Global Initiative is an effort to empower and mobilize world leaders to address pressing issues. This years’ initiative focuses on three themes: jobs, sustainable consumption and women and girls.