Malcolm Turnbull called Trump a climate denier.
Malcolm Turnbull called Trump a climate denier.

Turnbull’s extraordinary Trump spray

DONALD Trump is the leading climate change denier in the world, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says.

Mr Turnbull has again weighed into the climate debate, prompted this time by the US president labelling environmental activists "prophets of doom".

"He uses the politics of fear when it suits him and essentially Trump is the leading climate denier in the world," Mr Turnbull told the BBC on Wednesday.

"He's leading the most influential nation in the world and is actively working against global action to reduce emissions."

Mr Trump has used a speech at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to warn against "pessimism" without once using the words "climate" or "global warming".



"This is a time for optimism. Fear and doubt is not a good thought process," he said.

"To embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of apocalypse."

Mr Turnbull says the climate change debate is simply one of physics, but has been overrun with ideology.

"The fundamental problem that we face - in the United States in particular and also in Australia - this issue of global warming, global heating, has been turned into an ideological issue or a values issue," he said.

"The more greenhouse gases you pump into the atmosphere the more of the greenhouse effect you get, the warmer the planet gets and the consequences we are living with.

"Hotter, drier climate, longer and more droughts, fiercer and more fires."

Mr Trump has begun the process of removing the US from the Paris agreement, a global pact to try and reduce emissions in order to curb climate change.

Australia remains committed to the Paris target of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030, but plans to use credit from past agreements to achieve about half the goal.