The president of the United States said Thursday he is “not a scientist” and has never been “involved in the scientific process” and that he believes the science behind climate change is “very well understood.”
Trump made the remarks during a news conference with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.
“We are not scientists,” Trump said.
“I am a businessman, but I do not have any scientific expertise, and I do have great respect for the scientists that work on the science of climate change.”
“I am not a scientist.
I have never been involved in the science process,” Trump added.
“It’s very well understood that the climate is changing, and it’s not changing rapidly.”
Trump is not the first president to claim ignorance about climate science.
“The only way to get it right is to know the facts and not the politics,” said the Republican nominee for president in 2016.
Trump has made his stance on climate change a central part of his campaign and has pledged to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.
He said during the 2016 campaign that “it would be great” if Trump could “come out and say, look, I know climate change, I’ve been to the ice cap once,” adding that “if we didn’t have the ice caps, I would be in the Oval Office.”
He later said he meant the ice-cap portion.
“I think the climate’s changing, but it’s so well understood, the scientists have it figured out, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of,” he said.
Trump’s comments come as the United Nations on Thursday released a report that concludes that the planet is warming faster than at any time in history, with more than half of the world’s species already experiencing unprecedented levels of heat-trapping gases.
The United Nations report said climate change has led to widespread food shortages, crop failures and rising seas.
In the United Kingdom, a coalition of more than 300 business leaders and environmental groups on Thursday sent a letter to British Prime Minister Theresa May urging her to take immediate action to protect vulnerable communities and wildlife.
The letter said the government must “refrain from blocking any of the science and evidence-based measures already in place,” such as a pledge to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
In June, Trump issued a sweeping executive order barring the construction of all fossil fuel-fired power plants and ordered the closure of coal-fired plants and nuclear reactors.