Speaking at U.N. climate talks in Marrakech, Chinese representatives took the opportunity to dispel the idea that global warming was not, "created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive," as US President-Elect Donald Trump has claimed.
The Guardian reports that China's vice foreign minister, Liu Zhenmin noted that it was the President-Elect's republican predecessors who initiated climate talks almost 30 years ago.
"If you look at the history of climate change negotiations," Liu said, "actually it was initiated by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s."
Climate talks have seen recent successes. The Paris agreement, by which signatories committed to limiting global temperature increases to 2 degrees C, came into force in November. The US and China, the worlds two largest greenhouse gas emitters, agreed to the deal less than three months ago.
"We have a saying in America, that you need to put your money where your mouth is," said President Obama, announcing the agreement in China in September. "And when it comes to combating climate change that is what we are doing … we are leading by example."
"Climate change shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It isn’t a partisan issue for our military. It isn’t a partisan issue for our intelligence community," Secretary of State John Kerry said, Bloomberg reports.
"No one has a right to make decisions for billions of people based solely on ideology," Kerry said, regarding the possible actions of the Trump administration.
Trump has signaled that he isn't budging on his environmental stance. The incoming president has tapped Myron Ebell to head his transition efforts at the Environmental Protection Agency, according to PBS. Ebell helps chair the Cooler Heads Coalition, whose self-stated mission is "dispelling the myths of global warming. He also runs environmental and energy policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an advocacy group financed in part by the fossil fuel industry.
Dr. Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies told the Independent, "planetary warming does not care about the election... You can appoint people who don't care about it into positions of power, but regardless nature has the last vote on this."
Schmidt says that NASA scientists are in "wait-and-see" mode. He says that he would still be willing to serve in an administration that denies climate change. "Government science and things generally go on regardless of the political views of the people at the top," he said.
"The issue would be if you were being asked to skew your results in any way, of asked not to talk about your results."
The Bush administration had attempted to muzzle NASA. "They had people trying to prevent us talking to the press," Schmidt said, "censoring what was going on our website because it was inconvenient to the administration. We're not going to stand for that if people attempt to do that again.