Trump Casts Doubt on UN Report That Shows Climate Change Effects Will Soon Be 'Irreversible'

Scientists issued a stark warning in a new report that global temperatures could reach an irreversible point in just 12 years if the world does not try to significantly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Just a day after the international panel of scientists issued their warning, the president did not comment on whether the U.S. accepts or rejects the report’s findings.

A panel of more than 90 scientists under the United Nations published a report, urging the world to take unprecedented action to reduce their use of fossil fuels and to release less carbon dioxide, otherwise the world has approximately 12 years before the impact of climate change becomes irreversible.

When asked about the report’s findings on the White House lawn, President Donald Trump told reporters that he will be looking at it.

“It was given to me. And I want to look at who drew it. You know, which group drew it. I can give you reports that are fabulous, and I can give you reports that aren't so good. But I will be looking at it, absolutely,” Trump told reporters.

via AP

The report, which cited more than 6,000 scientific references and included 42,000 comments from governments and experts, was put together by 91 researchers and editors from 40 countries involved with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), The Huffington Post reports.

“This is one of the most important reports ever produced by the IPCC, and certainly one of the most needed,” Hoesung Lee, the chair of the body, said at a press conference in South Korea on Monday. “Climate change is already affecting people, livelihood and ecosystems all around the world.”

The UN panel’s researchers found that “human caused” carbon dioxide emissions need to be reduced by at least half of the 2010 levels by 2030 to keep the worst effects of climate change at bay. Scientists said “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are necessary in order to limit the possibility of irreversible environmental damage.

It is unlikely, however, that these results will sway Trump, who decided to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement – an accord where countries pledged to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The president has also taken steps to dismantle other significant policies designed to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), charged with protecting human health and the environment, declined to comment on the UN report’s findings on Monday.

“The United States continues to lead the world in greenhouse gas reductions having reduced our emissions by 14 percent since 2005,” an EPA spokesman said in a statement.

The EPA did, however, thank the UN panel for their “hard work.”

“We appreciate the hard work of the scientists and experts, many from the United States, who developed this report under considerable time pressure,” an EPA spokesperson said. “Governments do not formally endorse specific findings presented by the authors.”