GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has pledged to cancel payments made by the U.S. to a United Nations (UN) program tasked with combating the effects of climate change worldwide.
On Nov. 2, Trump told his supporters during a Florida rally that he would cut off U.S. funding to the United Nations’ efforts to curb climate change, The Daily Caller reports.
“We will also cancel billions in global warming payments to the United Nations, and use that money to support America’s vital environmental infrastructure and natural resources,” Trump said.
The business mogul deemed the U.S. funding to an international body to be wasteful and pledged to invest those dollars in “our own environment.”
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President Barack Obama has committed the U.S. to providing $3 billion to the UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF). The program is designed to help developing nations that also contribute carbon emissions transition into cleaner energy resources, according to Reuters.
Climate scientists have warned that Florida is the state most likely to be adversely impacted by climate change, with strengthening storms such as Hurricane Matthew and rising sea levels threatening to devastate the coastal state.
While Trump has promised to preserve natural habitats and resources in the U.S., his campaign has already largely disregarded the policy recommendations to combat climate change. The business mogul has vowed to lift all environmental regulations on fossil fuels and to tear up the U.S. commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, CBS News reports.
The GOP nominee has previously called climate change a hoax orchestrated by China.
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“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” Trump tweeted out on Nov. 6, 2012.
Trump’s vow to bow out of the Paris Climate Agreement has prompted a critical response from Chinese officials, who have historically not made a habit of commenting on foreign elections.
“I believe a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends,” said Xie Zhenhua, China’s veteran climate chief.
Xie added that if the next U.S. president does not cooperate with the international community to curb the effects of climate change, then “their country’s economic and social progress will also be affected.”
Polling has indicated that American attitudes toward climate change largely fall along partisan lines.
On Oct. 10, a Pew Research Center survey found that 56 percent of self-identified Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton supporters cared a great deal about climate change, while 34 percent cared somewhat and 11 percent not too much.
Meanwhile, only 15 percent of self-identified Trump supporters cared a great deal about the issue while 34 percent cared somewhat, 31 percent not too much and 18 percent not at all.
While Trump has publicly dismissed man-made climate change, he had referenced it when requesting a permit to construct a seawall along his golf course in County Clare, Ireland.
In his application for the permit, Trump wrote that the seawall was necessary to protect his golf course from rising waters caused by “global warming and its effects.”