Climate scientists raise concerns with PM May

LONDON • British climate scientists have asked Britain's prime minister to press US President-elect Donald Trump to acknowledge climate change risks and support international action to slow global warming.

Prime Minister Theresa May will meet Mr Trump in Washington in the spring, in the first visit meeting with the new American president by the leader of one of the United States' closest allies.

In a letter to Mrs May, the 100 scientists said there were "potential threats" to the British national interest from Mr Trump's election.

The incoming US leader has dismissed the idea of man-made climate change as a hoax, and several department chief nominees in his new administration, such as the potential head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, have rejected evidence of the risks.

"In doing so, the President-elect and his nominated appointees are disregarding the findings and advice of the leading expert bodies around the world, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the United States National Academy of Sciences," the letter said.

"We believe that the United Kingdom must be prepared to respond decisively to these developments."

During his campaign, Mr Trump said he would ditch the 2015 Paris Agreement, signed by almost 200 nations, which aims to end the fossil fuel era by shifting to renewable energy in the second half of the century.

However, he told the New York Times on Nov 22 that he now had an "open mind" on the Paris Agreement.

The letter urged Mrs May to use Britain's so-called "special relationship" with the US, as well as international forums such as the G-7 and G-20, to press the incoming administration to continue to support the Paris Agreement and climate change research in the US.

The scientists said a senior adviser to Mr Trump has also called for an end to climate research programmes at space agency Nasa, which provides vital data for monitoring and managing climate change.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2017, with the headline 'Climate scientists raise concerns with PM May'. Print Edition | Subscribe