Trump soft­ens cli­mate stance

> Pres­i­dent-elect also re­verses threat to pros­e­cute Clin­ton

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

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

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