People, Environment

UK to Convince Trump Climate Change Is Real

Donald Trump believes climate change is a Chinese hoax aimed at weakening US manufacturing.Donald Trump believes climate change is a Chinese hoax aimed at weakening US manufacturing.

The UK will try to convince the incoming US administration of Donald Trump that it should take climate change seriously, climate minister Nick Hurd said on Tuesday.

“The Trump election is a challenge but there has been a clear gear change in global climate efforts,” Hurd told MPs at a hearing in parliament, Climate Home reported.

Britain would “do what we can to influence others, and as the foreign secretary [Boris Johnson] makes clear, that includes the US administration”.

During the campaign for the presidency, Trump said he would “cancel” the UN’s new climate pact and has since chosen a number of climate deniers for senior positions in his Cabinet. He has described climate change as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese “to hurt US manufacturing”.

But Hurd warned against making early assumptions on what the president-elect might do next, in what he described as an “opaque” situation.

 “I don’t know what they will do; only those in his intimate circle know, and there’s obviously some risk,” he said. “When we see the reality of plans, then the international community will respond.”

Lead UK climate negotiator, Archie Young, said the UK would “speak truth” to the US.

“As friends, we will obviously hope to cooperate,” he added.

Hurd described the Trump election as a “very large rock chucked in a pool” but said talks with China, India and Brazil among other emerging economies convinced him the Paris deal would survive.

 “[The UN COP22 summit] could have just gone into hysterics but the work went on and that sent a message this is a serious process that has a pressing timetable,” he said.

The 2016 UN Climate Change Conference, or COP22, was held in November in Marrakech, Morocco.

Praising the Obama administration for its leadership on securing the Paris deal, a pact on potent gases called HFCs and another on aviation emissions, Hurd added others may now have to lead.

“Think of long distance bicycle races in Olympics; we are seeing the formation of a large peloton,” he said.

“It’s important that major economies are in front but if the reality is the US slips back a bit that’s not the end of the world, if the peloton is continuing to press on in broadly same pace.”


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