Sierra Club doubts Trump's about-face on climate change

Trump tells The New York Times there may be "some" links between human activity and climate change.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Nov. 23, 2016 at 6:19 AM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. President-elect Donald Trump needs to put words to action regarding his fluid stance on climate change, the executive director of the Sierra Club said.

Trump seemingly reversed his stance on climate change and the Paris climate agreement during an interview with The New York Times Wednesday, saying he had an "open mind" on the pact. Whether some of the warming trends were human-induced, he said "there is some connectivity."

Trump in a statement on his potential energy policies said the United States would become energy independent under his leadership. While the outline put a clear focus on non-renewable resources, the president-elect said the environment would still get attention. From the campaign trail, he said he doubted climate change was the result of human activity and vowed to pull the United States out of the Paris climate deal once in office.

Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, said he was reluctant to hold the president-elect to his word.

"Talk is cheap, and no one should believe Donald Trump means this until he acts upon it," he said in a statement.

Brune said after the U.S. election that Trump had the "unflattering distinction" as being the only world leader to deny the evidence that man-made factors are driving global temperatures higher.

The Paris agreement calls on the global community to take action to address threats posed by a warming climate by cutting their emissions. The U.N. Environment Program cautioned that, even if all the commitments under the agreement materialize, emissions levels by 2030 could still potentially lead to a global average temperature increase of more than 3 degrees Celsius.

Some of the warming trends are attributed to a global economy that still relies heavily on fossil fuels. A report published earlier this week by the Times suggested Trump was encouraging his supporters in the British government to oppose offshore wind farms, especially those near the mogul's Scottish golf courses.

In a statement to UPI, RenewableUK Executive Director Emma Pinchbeck said there was sweeping support for cleaner energy options on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Politics should not determine the future of our energy mix," she said.

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