UK climate scientists raise concerns about Trump presidency

Image: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a “Thank You USA” tour rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S. December 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files

LONDON (Reuters) – British climate scientists asked Britain’s prime minister on Monday to press U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to acknowledge climate change risks and support international action to slow global warming.

Prime Minister Theresa May will meet Trump in Washington in the spring, in the first visit with the new president by the leader of one of the United States’ closest allies.

In a letter to May, the 100 scientists said there were “potential threats” to the British national interest from Trump’s election in November.

Trump has dismissed the idea of man-made climate change as a hoax and several department chief nominees in his incoming administration, such as the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, have rejected evidence of the risks.

“In doing so, the President-elect and his nominated appointees are disregarding the findings and advice of the leading expert bodies around the world, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the United States National Academy of Sciences,” the letter said.

“We believe that the United Kingdom must be prepared to respond decisively to these developments.”

During his campaign, Trump said he would ditch the 2015 Paris Agreement, signed by almost 200 nations, which aims to end the fossil fuel era by shifting to renewable energy in the second half of the century.

However, Trump told the New York Times on Nov. 22 that he now had an “open mind” on the Paris Agreement.

The letter urged May to use Britain’s so-called “special relationship” with the United States, as well as international forums such as the G-7 and G-20, to press the incoming administration to continue to support the Paris Agreement and climate change research in the United States.

The scientists said a senior adviser to Trump has called for an end to climate research programs at NASA, which provides vital data for monitoring and managing climate change.


(Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by Mark Heinrich)
Copyright 2016 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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