3 june 2019

Experts urge Theresa May to confront Trump over climate crisis

Letter signed by 250 academics says US president is ‘undermining’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Press Association, The Guardian, Mon 3 Jun 2019

Hundreds of climate crisis experts have urged Theresa May to confront Donald Trump over his approach to the issue during his state visit this week.

A letter signed by 250 academics from universities and research bodies across the UK states the US president’s “refusal” to tackle global heating is “increasing risks for lives and livelihoods” around the world.

The experts praise the UK’s international role in tackling the climate crisis but say Trump’s visit is “incompatible” with it while he is “undermining” US domestic and international efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

It reads: “The president’s refusal to tackle climate change, and particularly his initiation of the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement, is increasing risks for lives and livelihoods in the United States, the United Kingdom and around the world.”

They urge the prime minister to tell Trump to accept the scientific evidence of the threat of the man-made climate crisis; support policies in the US to reduce greenhouse gases to zero by 2050; and collaborate with international efforts to combat the climate crisis.

The president has previously called the climate crisis a “Chinese hoax” and “bullshit”.

Bob Ward, director of policy for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, coordinated the letter.

He said: “President Trump’s refusal to accept and address global climate change is putting at risk lives and livelihoods of current and future generations in the UK.

“The state visit is an opportunity for the prime minister to challenge the president’s reckless approach and advance the UK’s reputation as an international leader on climate change before she steps down as prime minister.

“The special relationship between the UK and USA is meaningless if the government does not use it to confront the actions of a president that are a threat to UK citizens.”

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