The once-stated belief of Donald Trump that climate change is a giant conspiracy cooked up by China to undermine American economic competitiveness has been addressed – by China itself – as the world awaits word from the US president-elect of his current feelings on the issue.
Trump’s claim that the concept of global warming “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive” was Tweeted back when the idea of being leader of the free world was just a twinkle in his eye.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
But since his surprise election the comment has come back to haunt him, much as Trump’s campaign promise to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement is haunting current climate talks in Marrakech.
China, however, is having none of it, with Beijing’s vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin telling reporters on Wednesday that history tells a different tale.
“If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” Liu said, according to Bloomberg.
And he said that China’s President Xi Jinping had underlined the importance of continued cooperation on climate between the two largest economies when he spoke to Trump on Monday.
China, said Liu, will continue its fight climate change “whatever the circumstances.”
“Of course we’re still expecting developed countries including the United States will continue to take the lead on mitigating climate change,” he said.
Back in the US, though, Trump is not doing much to support such expectations – particularly with his appointment of card-carrying climate denier Myron Ebell as head of the EPA “transition team.”
Ebell, as has been widely reported, is the director of the Centre for Energy and the Environment – a libertarian think tank that “questions global warming alarmism,” and that is partly funded by America’s coal industry.
Ebell has also stated that he believes the “so-called global warming consensus” is not based on science, but is a political consensus.
But Bloomberg reports that outgoing US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who helped secure the Paris Agreement last year, has tried to hose down concerns, offering that the majority of US citizens back action on climate change.
“No one has a right to make decisions for billions of people based solely on ideology,” he said. “Climate change shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It isn’t a partisan issue for our military. It isn’t a partisan issue for our intelligence community.”