Obama regrets lack of US leadership in climate change

This article is more than 12 months old

PARIS Former US president Barack Obama took a new swipe at his successor Donald Trump over the Paris climate accord at a meeting with business leaders in the French capital.

Mr Obama also vouched for the superiority of female leadership as "men seem to be having some problems these days", alluding to the sexual assault and harassment scandals currently engulfing the US.

Speaking to a group of communications and media leaders as well as financiers and academics known as Les Napoleons, Mr Obama regretted what he called a "temporary absence of American leadership" on climate change.

He was referring to Mr Trump's threat to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, the day after making similar remarks during a visit to New Delhi.

Mr Trump has said the accord is crippling US business and has called for the agreement to be renegotiated.

Asked to list leadership qualities for the future, Mr Obama advocated "more focus on putting women in power, because men seem to be having some problems these days".

"Not to generalise, but women seem to have a better capacity than men do, partly because of their socialisation," said the 56-year-old, who left office in January.

But he also warned of the dangers of "deeply embedded inequality". "Going forward we need to modernise our economies in a way that is inclusive," he said.

Mr Obama lunched with French President Emmanuel Macron, meeting him for the first time after backing his presidential campaign. - AFP