This week marked the arrival of President Trump on his second official state visit to the UK, two and a half years into his presidency (trips to golf courses in Scotland apparently don’t count). Tensions have been high in recent months between the two countries over a plethora of issues, many of which stemming from Trump as an individual. As I write, roughly 100,000 people are protesting his visit throughout the streets of London. This is down from the 250,000 people who protested last year, most likely due to worse weather or the fact that this visit doesn’t overlap school holidays.

Naturally, on arrival Trump had several suggestions for the UK. His suggestion of an Irish border wall didn’t meet the same level of support as its Mexican counterpart, whilst his comments regarding US trade and an open NHS went down like a lead balloon, and actually managed to unite all major parties (against him). However, the comments that have resonated most in the UK have been on the topic of the environment. In a meeting with Prince Charles, long standing environmental activist, he bragged about the US ‘having the cleanest climate based on all statistics’. One key statistic, (production of CO2) places the US at second worst, with third place being India, which has triple the population and only 40% of the total emissions.

Not quite enough, Trump added that the US has ‘the cleanest water. It’s crystal clean, has to be crystal clean clear.” This may be the case, but after the water crisis in Flint Michigan, Trump quashed a federal health study into the safety of drinking water so it might be wise to be apprehensive of his claim. Prince Charles seized on the opportunity to educate the President, extending what was planned to be a 15 minute chat into a 90 minute conversation in which ‘the prince did most of the talking’, all on climate change. Whilst unlikely to get Trump to sign back up to the Paris agreement, perhaps some good might have come from his UK visit. Time will tell.

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