Trump softens climate stance
> President-elect also reverses threat to prosecute Clinton
NEW YORK: It is hard to keep up with the pace of change in the mind of Donald Trump.
Just hours after announcing he was not going to pursue an investigation of Hillary Clinton over her email scandal, he indicated another important U-turn – this time in regard to climate.
During the election campaign, Trump had suggested climate change was nothing more than a “hoax”, and that the so-called myth may have been started by the Chinese.
However, in a conversation with the New York Times yesterday, the incoming president indicated he had reconsidered the matter.
When asked if he thought human activity was linked to climate change, he said: “I think there is some connectivity. Some, something. It depends on how much.”
The president-elect also said he would keep an open mind on whether he would pull the US out of a landmark international climate change deal.
During his campaign, Trump repeatedly said he would withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord.
But at a meeting with reporters yesterday, Trump seemed to have backpedalled on the matter, saying: “I’m looking at it very closely. I have an open mind to it.”
Trump, who has been holed up for days in Trump Tower in New York as he puts together a team for his administration, told the reporters that he was also thinking about climate change in regard to American competitiveness and “how much it will cost our companies”.
He also said he thought clean energy was “very important”.
Greenpeace spokesman Travis Nichols said that regardless of what Trump had said to the press, the fact he had appointed climate change deniers and oil industry lobbyists to his transition team indicated his administration would still be in “climate denial”.
Trump’s notoriety as a climate change denier dates back to 2012 when he tweeted: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”
During the election campaign, he positioned himself as a defender of traditional industries, such as coal mining, and mocked Clinton’s talk of the need for alternative energy.
Trump told Fox News in January: “I think that climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know a lot about climate change. I’ve received environmental awards.” – The Independent