Donald Trump believes the climate is changing and that man-made activities are partly to blame, US envoy Nikki Haley says. Trump, who this week quit the Paris climate deal, previously called global warming a "hoax."
"[US President Donald Trump] believes the climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of the equation," US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told CNN on Saturday.
Trump "knows that it's changing and that the US has to be responsible for it and that's what we're going to do."
Haley's comments come two days after Trump announced he would pull the US out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, a landmark deal that aims to curb fossil fuels and mitigate global warming. Trump said the pact would put the US at a disadvantage, take away domestic jobs and undermine the American economy.
"Just because the US got out of a club doesn't mean we aren't going to care about the environment," Haley said in the interview, which will be broadcast in full on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday. The ambassador also echoed Trump's statements about the pact, saying it had strict and "onorous" regulations that were "disadvantaging our companies."
Tight-lipped on climate
Trump's decision to withdraw from the climate accord - signed by every country bar Syria and Nicaragua - sparked outrage around the world. Several countries have since renewed their support for the deal, vowing to stick to their commitments to limit carbon emissions.
Officials at the White House on Friday skirted around questions about whether the president believed in climate change. During last year's election campaign, Trump the candidate sometimes referred to it as a "hoax" created by China. After launching his bid for the White House in 2015, Trump said "I'm not a believer in man-made global warming." But since entering office, Trump and his staff have mostly kept quiet on the issue.
Trump himself ignored a question about climate change when asked by journalists on Friday. White House press secretary Sean Spicer also refused to answer repeated questions on the subject, saying he hadn't had a chance to dicuss it with his boss. Adviser Kellyanne Conway said the question should be put to Trump himself.
nm/bw (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)