In the final week leading up to the presidential inauguration, British scientists are urging their prime minister to stand up for climate science in the U.S. An open letter signed by 100 leading climate researchers in the United Kingdom warns of the incoming Trump administration’s skeptical stance on climate change and points to “worrying media reports that the incoming administration may severely weaken climate change research and data-gathering undertaken by federal organizations in the United States.”
In light of these concerns, the letter urges Prime Minister Theresa May to “press President-Elect Trump and his administration to acknowledge the scientific evidence about the risks of climate change, to continue to support international action to counter climate change, including the Paris Agreement, and to maintain support for world class research and data-gathering on climate change in the United States.”
Trump’s own doubts about human caused climate change are well-documented — he once famously claimed that climate change is a “hoax invented by the Chinese.” He’s softened his rhetoric a bit in more recent months, suggesting in December that “nobody really knows” whether climate change is real, but it’s clear that his current position on the subject is doubtful at best.
Furthermore, the president-elect has selected multiple noted climate doubters to serve in his cabinet and lead his transition team. And he’s also publicly vowed to “cancel” the Paris climate agreement and roll back multiple Obama-era emissions regulations aimed at helping the nation meet its climate commitments. These choices have raised major concerns among scientists all over the world as to the future of both climate action and climate research in the U.S.
“Basically, I was becoming concerned after the election about some of the stories that were beginning to emerge,” said Bob Ward, a co-organizer of the letter to May and the policy and communications director for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.