British Prime Minister urged to seek assurances on climate change at meeting with President Trump
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, should seek assurances from President Trump during their meeting tomorrow about the continued provision of reliable information and evidence on climate change, according to a letter made public today (26 January 2017) by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The letter from Bob Ward, the policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute, to Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and UK cabinet minister responsible for climate change research, points out that actions taken by President Trump’s administration during his first week in office have added to concerns about political interference that could undermine the provision of reliable information and research on climate change used by policy-makers in the UK and across the world.
In the letter, Mr Ward, who is a Fellow of both the Geological Society and the Royal Geographical Society in the UK, points out that recent media reports in the United States indicate that “our fears about political interference are beginning to be realised within a week of President Trump and his administration taking office”. His letter adds: “Information about climate change has already been removed from the website of the White House, and it has been reported that staff at the Environmental Protection Agency have been told to similarly censor its web pages and instructed not to engage publicly about climate change.”
Mr Ward’s letter asks Mr Clark to draw the Prime Minister’s attention to these concerns prior to her meeting with President Trump on Friday (27 January).
Mr Ward was a co-signatory on a letter from 100 members of the UK’s climate change research community which was sent to the Prime Minister earlier this month (13 January). The letter highlighted the potential threats and opportunities for the UK arising from President Trump’s election.
The letter to the Prime Minister urged her to “use the United Kingdom’s special relationship with the United States, as well as international fora such as the G7 and G20, to press President Trump and his administration to acknowledge the scientific evidence about the risks of climate change, to continue to support international action to counter climate change, including the Paris Agreement, and to maintain support for world class research and data-gathering on climate change in the United States.”
The letter also stated that “climate change researchers in the United States and United Kingdom have worked extensively with each other and with researchers from across the world. We stand ready to support and assist our counterparts in the United States, as collaborators, co-authors and colleagues, in resisting any political attempts to prevent, hamper or interfere with vital research on climate change.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (https://www.lse.ac.uk/grantham) was launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October 2008. It is funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (https://www.granthamfoundation.org/).