It seems like former U.S. President Barack Obama and President Mauricio Macri hit it off when the former came for an official visit to Argentina in March of last year.
After an appearance as keynote speaker in the Green Economy Summit that took place in Córdoba on Friday, and having talks with business leaders and politicians in events organized in his honor, Obama wrapped up his visit with a game of golf with Macri this past Saturday.
Macri and Obama teamed up at the Bella Vista Golf Club to take on the Argentine President’s brother, Gianfranco, and José Torello, the head of his advisers. By chance – or not? – both Macri and Obama wore grey sweaters. BFF alert?
Even though their combined handicap was worse than their opponents – Clarín found out about that – the presidential team won the match with a hole to go. We don’t know much about what was discussed in the hours they spent together, but according to press reports “there were compliments from Obama, and they talked about the renewable energies that Argentina exploited.” They moved throughout the course together the entire game, with Macri driving the cart.
Other accounts informed that while having a drink at the Club House, Macri asked Obama about how it felt to be a civilian again. “[He] said that he was happy, that he’s not a person who really needed all the protocol,” a source told Clarín. “They also went through a lot of personal issues such as family, sports and private activity, among other things,” another source told La Nación.
Highlights From Obama’s Speech at the Green Economy Summit
On Saturday afternoon, Obama was the last speaker of the Green Economy Summit, which describes itself as “the most important sustainability event in Latin America.” After praising Macri for his work to “reconnect Argentina with the world economy,” the former President tackled the issue that had brought him to the province of Córdoba.
“We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, but also the last one that has the ability to do something about it,” Obama began. He continued by weighing in on the Trump administration’s policies – which are diametrically opposed to his – regarding climate change.
Obama said that even though “there’s another administration in Washington that has another way of governing, the U.S. will reach the goals [it committed to in the Paris agreement] despite it because much of what we did is already rooted in our economy and our culture.” “The Paris agreement won’t solve the climate crisis on its own, but will help to improve the situation, as long as we meet the goals,” he added.
In conclusion the former President assured that taking care of the environment and achieving economic growth can go hand in hand, but that governments need to play an important role as pioneers. “They [governments] need to establish rules that send signals to the market: if you do this, you will make good profit,” he concluded.