People, Environment

Trump Disbands Advisory Panel on Climate Change

Officials say the action does not impact the completion of the Fourth National Climate Assessment.Officials say the action does not impact the completion of the Fourth National Climate Assessment.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has decided to disband a federal advisory panel on climate change, in a further sign of the White House's view on environmental policy.

The panel is part of the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping officials and policymakers integrate the US government's climate change analysis into their long-term planning.

A mandate for the 15-member Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment is set to expire on Sunday and will not be renewed, The Independent reported.

A spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which announced the panel would not be renewed, said “this action does not impact the completion of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which remains a key priority”.

The next report is due for release in 2018, but a document expected to be a key part of the assessment is currently under review by the Trump administration.

The report, known as the Climate Science Special Report, finds it is “extremely likely” that more than half of the rise in temperatures over the past four decades has been caused by human activity, in contrast to some of Trump's Cabinet members' views, who consider the magnitude of that contribution to be uncertain.

The news comes as the Trump administration continues to face backlash for its policies on climate change, which many have labeled as skeptical.

Trump, who has favored nonrenewable energy industries such as coal, announced in June the US would be leaving the Paris climate accord. As for disbanding the committee, its chairman thinks it is a bad idea.

“It doesn’t seem to be the best course of action,” Richard Moss, an adjunct professor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Geographical Sciences, told The Washington Post.

“We’re going to be running huge risks here and possibly end up hurting the next generation’s economic prospects,” Moss said, referring to infrastructure projects that might rely on the analysis.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a Democrat, said in an interview on Saturday that the move to dissolve the climate advisory committee represents “an example of the president not leading, and the president stepping away from reality”.

An official from Seattle Public Utilities has been serving on the panel; with its disbanding, Murray said it would now be “more difficult” for cities to participate in the climate assessment. On climate change, Trump “has left us all individually to figure it out”.


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