Trump Would Be Lone Climate Denier Among World Leaders: Study

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By Anthony Adragna

July 12 — Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would be the only world leader to deny the scientific consensus that human activity is a primary driver of climate change if elected in November, according to a July 12 study from the Sierra Club.

Every other leader of the 195 countries included in the report, ranging from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of oil-rich Saudi Arabia, acknowledges climate change is real and supports action to address the problem, the group concluded after reviewing public statements.

“Trump's climate science denial would make him a global laughingstock if it wasn't so dangerous,” John Coequyt, director of global climate policy for the Sierra Club, said in a statement. “Every single leader on earth—from Germany to India to Somalia to Japan—recognizes that the climate crisis is happening and demands the world's attention, but Trump is sticking his head in the sand.”

Trump Would Disassemble

Trump has described climate change as a “hoax” created by the Chinese, vowed to “cancel” an international pact to combat the problem, and pledged to undo Environmental Protection Agency regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

His stance aligns closely with the vast majority of elected Republican officials, but stands at odds with the positions of some of the U.S.'s biggest foes. North Korea, for example, signed onto the Paris Agreement and has launched a “national effort to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Multiple published surveys have shown at least 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists agree human activity is driving climate change.

Sanders Endorses Clinton

The study came the same day that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) invoked climate change as he endorsed Democratic primary rival Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

“This election is about climate change, the greatest environmental crisis facing our planet, and the need to leave this world in a way that is healthy and habitable for our kids and future generations,” Sanders said at a rally in Portsmouth, N.H. “Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that if we do not act boldly in the very near future there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels.”

Citing Trump's belief that climate change is a “hoax,” Sanders warned that backing the New York businessman would “be a disaster for our country and our planet.”

New Trump Endorsement

But Trump did pick up an endorsement July 12 as the American Energy Alliance, a self-described free market advocacy organization, backed him in its first political endorsement.

“Donald Trump has put forth a plan that would move our country forward by opening up more federal lands and waters for energy exploration of all kinds, utilizing cutting-edge technologies to tap into our vast resources, unwinding the Obama administration’s harmful regulations, and subjecting the Paris Agreement to the scrutiny it deserves,” Tom Pyle, president of the group, said in a statement.

“Where Donald Trump promises prosperity and growth, Hillary Clinton promises a third term of President Obama’s regressive climate agenda,” Pyle continued.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony Adragna in Washington at aadragna@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com

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