Donald Trump’s administration appears determined to sweep away federal efforts to address climate change. The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the administration would disband the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment, a group comprised of academics, officials, and representatives from corporations. Committee chair Richard Moss said the risky move could hurt the economic prospects of the next generation.
The charter for the 15-person advisory panel, established in 2015 for the National Climate Assessment, expired over the weekend on Sunday. On Friday, acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ben Friedman told the committee chair they wouldn’t be renewing the panel.
The National Climate Assessment is supposed to come out every four years in accordance with a 1990 law calling for the assessment, but has only come out three times since. The next assessment is scheduled for 2018. The Washington Post reported the Trump administration has been going over the Climate Science Special Report, which is crucial to the next National Climate Assessment. Scientists from 13 federal agencies said in the special report that human activity likely led to a global temperature increase from 1.1 to 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit between 1951 and 2010.
NOAA communications director Julie Roberts told The Washington Post in an email that the move to disband the panel “does not impact the completion of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which remains a key priority.”
But the advisory panel’s job was to help translate National Climate Assessment findings into guidance for officials in both the public and private sectors, so the decision could leave state officials with little guidance on how to consider climate change in infrastructure. Seattle mayor Ed Murray said the move is “…an example of the president not leading, and the president stepping away from reality.”