Re­port re­futes hoax claim by Trump Sci­en­tists from 13 fed­eral agen­cies lay out ev­i­dence that cli­mate change pri­mar­ily due to hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By CHEN WEIHUA in Wash­ing­ton chen­wei­hua@chi­nadai­

Just days af­ter the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion sub­mit­ted a let­ter to the United Na­tions with­draw­ing the United States from the Paris cli­mate ac­cord, a leaked gov­ern­ment draft re­port showed that cli­mate change is al­ready hav­ing an im­pact on the coun­try.

Tem­per­a­tures have risen dra­mat­i­cally since 1980, ac­cord­ing to the re­port that was pub­lished by The New York Times on Mon­day and re­newed on Tues­day.

The US Global Change Re­search Pro­gram Cli­mate Sci­ence Spe­cial Re­port, com­piled by a group of sci­en­tists from 13 fed­eral agen­cies, shows that re­cent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years and con­cludes that peo­ple in the United States are feel­ing the ef­fects of cli­mate change right now.

“Many lines of ev­i­dence demon­strate that hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties, es­pe­cially emis­sions of green­house (heat­trap­ping) gases, are pri­mar­ily re­spon­si­ble for re­cent ob­served cli­mate change,” the au­thors said.

The re­port, part of the Na­tional Cli­mate As­sess­ment, was con­gres­sion­ally man­dated to take place ev­ery four years since 1990. It was sup­posed to be ap­proved by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion be­fore be­ing re­leased pub­licly.

The re­port’s mes­sage con­tra­dicts the opin­ion held by US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and many of his Cab­i­net mem­bers.

Trump has called the con­cept of global warm­ing a “Chi­nese hoax” that was “cre­ated by and for the Chi­nese in or­der to make US man­u­fac­tur­ing non-com­pet­i­tive”.

On Tues­day, both the White House and the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency said the draft has been in the pub­lic do­main for months.

‘Ma­jor dis­ap­point­ment’

On Fri­day, US of­fi­cials sub­mit­ted a let­ter to in­form the UN that the US will with­draw from the Paris Agree­ment. The let­ter, sent to UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral An­to­nio Gut­teres by US Am­bas­sador to the UN Nikki Ha­ley, left the door open to reen­gage if the terms im­proved for the US.

Trump an­nounced his de­ci­sion to with­draw from the Paris ac­cord on June 1, de­scrib­ing it as bad for the US econ­omy and jobs. As part of the Paris agree­ment, the US had pledged to cut its green­house gas emis­sions by 28 per­cent from its 2005 lev­els by 2025.

The let­ter is in fact not qual­i­fied as a let­ter for for­mal with­drawal. Un­der the rules, the US can only sub­mit such a let­ter in 2019. The ear­li­est date for the US to com­pletely with­draw from the ac­cord is Nov 4, 2020, one day af­ter the 2020 US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Guter­res called the US de­ci­sion a “ma­jor dis­ap­point­ment for the global ef­fort to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions and pro­mote global se­cu­rity”, and he would wel­come any ef­forts to­ward the US’ reen­gage­ment.

An­drew Light, a dis­tin­guished se­nior fel­low in the global cli­mate pro­gram of the World Re­sources In­sti­tute, said that the re­port “re­ally rep­re­sents the best that we know in terms of cli­mate sci­ence and we hope the ad­min­is­tra­tion will lis­ten to it”.

Light said the big­gest dam­age in­flicted by the US with­drawal will be on the US be­cause there is a huge mar­ket in clean en­ergy in­vest­ment around the world.

Speak­ing on Meet the Press on NBC on Sun­day, Cal­i­for­nia Gover­nor Jerry Brown said his state and other states are form­ing a cli­mate al­liance. “In terms of cli­mate change, it is an ex­is­ten­tial threat,” he said.

“It is not a hoax. It was not cre­ated in China. It is some­thing that the ma­jor­ity, 95 per­cent of sci­en­tists be­lieve in,” Brown said.

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