The president believes in climate change, a top Trump aide has stated at a time when the White House has dodged questions about his views in the wake of the U.S.’s surprising exit from the Paris climate accord.
Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, reportedly made the statement on a program scheduled for telecast on Sunday. Haley said Trump believes the U.S. should take responsibility for changing climate. In the past, Trump has called climate change a hoax despite most of the world having acknowledged it for more than a decade.
“President Trump believes the climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of that equation,” Haley said, according to The Guardian. “He knows that it’s changing and he knows the U.S. has to be responsible for it and that is what we’re going to do.”
Questions about the Trump administration’s commitment to combating climate change resurfaced after the president announced earlier this week that the U.S. would exit the Paris climate change agreement. The accord requires the signatories to keep global average temperature to “well below” two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to aim to restrict temperature rise beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100. The U.S. is recognized as the second biggest carbon emitter after China.
“Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100,” Trump said during the announcement, according to Reuters.
While announcing the U.S.’s exit from the agreement, ABC News quoted President Trump saying the deal gives other countries an undue advantage at the cost of the U.S. economy and American jobs.
“The bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States. I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris. I promised I would exit or renegotiate any deal which fails to serve America’s interests.”
The announcement drew sharp reactions from world leaders who criticized President Trump, while they affirmed their commitment to protecting the planet. Within the U.S., the announcement saw protests amidst questions about President Trump’s views on climate change. Over 180 mayors snubbed the President’s announcement by affirming their commitment to the Paris accord at a city-level. Concerns about Trump’s views on global warming and climate change have been cause for concern ever since his election given that he has refused to acknowledge the phenomenon in the past.
Trump’s Rose Garden announcement that pulled the U.S. out of the Paris agreement was reportedly based on research published by MIT researchers last year. In a Reuters report, the study’s authors said they do not support the U.S. stepping back from the agreement. They warned that if nothing is done, global temperatures could rise by as much as five degree Celsius by 2100.
Haley’s revelation comes at a time when the White House has refused to comment on Trump’s views in the wake of the exit announcement. However, despite world leaders sending a clear message to the U.S. that terms of Paris accord cannot be renegotiated, given it was reached after consensus among nearly all nations of the world, Haley made it clear that the Trump administration is likely to stand its ground on the agreement.
“We have got a president who is going to look out for the environment. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. We are going to continue to be a leader in the environment. The rest of the world wanted to tell us how to do it and we’re saying we will do it, but we will do it under our terms.”
[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]