When Trump stepped away from the historic Paris climate agreement and proposed slashing the EPA’s climate research budget, he signaled to the world that reducing carbon emissions wasn’t a priority for the US. But what Trump says and what his government does are two different things. While Trump continues to bloviate, federal agencies and scientists continue to collaborate on international efforts to fight climate change.
Despite what Trump has said, the State Department, government scientists, and federal agencies continue to work hard to fight climate change. Technically, the US is no longer part of the Paris accord. But scientists and federal employees have been helping to draft the rulebook for its implementation. The US has also quietly boosted funding for clean energy projects, and research into global warming, as well as signing a global call to action to fight climate change.
Leaders and researchers from international groups aimed at fighting climate change say that they don’t notice a huge change from before and after Trump took office. Aleksi Härkönen, chair of the Arctic Council advisors group, said, “We really don’t detect any change with the Americans.”
Back at home, Trump allies are dismayed that the President hasn’t implemented his rhetoric. “I am concerned that much of our climate policy remains on autopilot,” said Trump’s former energy adviser Myron Ebell. Part of the reason for the lack of change is that Trump hasn’t replaced staffers or filled key positions necessary to push through his agenda. “Our U.S. colleagues know that climate change is not a hoax,” said one anonymous scientist, who helped draft the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report along with US scientists.