Where Donald Trump stands on climate change

On November 8, Americans will have the chance to go to the polls and elect the next president of the United States.

Both major parties, Republican and Democrat, will make their cases to voters in the coming weeks.

The candidates’ positions on environmental issues are very different.

While Hillary Clinton lists “Protecting animals and wildlife” and “Climate change” as two major topics on her campaign website, Trump doesn’t include anything about the environment.

We’ve rounded up the Republican candidate’s public statements to find out where he stands on environmental issues.

Climate change

At the first presidential debate September 26, Clinton brought up her and Trump’s differences on climate change. Here’s how the exchange unfolded:

CLINTON: Some country is going to be the clean- energy superpower of the 21st century. Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.

TRUMP: I did not. I did not. I do not say that.

CLINTON: I think science is real.

TRUMP: I do not say that.

As many news organisations pointed out after the debate, Trump tweeted in 2012 that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

He has tweeted dozens of times about how he does not accept the overwhelming scientific evidence that climate change is real. You can read all of his tweets that have mentioned “climate change” or “global warming” here.

Trump wants to dismantle the Paris Agreement that sets targets to reverse the worst effects of global warming, which nearly 200 countries agreed to last December.

In response to a question about his views on climate change on ScienceDebate, Trump implied that the US shouldn’t waste “financial resources” on climate change and should instead use them to ensure the world has clean water, eliminate diseases like malaria, increase food production, or develop alternative energy sources.

“There is still much that needs to be investigated in the field of ‘climate change,'” he said. “We must decide on how best to proceed so that we can make lives better, safer and more prosperous.”

Water

Over the past several years, the western states have suffered from one of the worst droughts in US history. California is in its fifth straight year of severe drought, which has put considerable stress on crops and water use. The American Society of Civil Engineers has given infrastructure across the country “D” grades for dams, drinking water, and wastewater.

Trump says clean water may be the “most important issue we face as a nation for the next generation,” and it will be a “top priority” for his administration.

“We must make the investment in our fresh water infrastructure to ensure access to affordable fresh water solutions for everyone,” he said on ScienceDebate. “We must explore all options to include making desalinization more affordable and working to build the distribution infrastructure to bring this scarce resource to where it is needed for our citizens and those who produce the food of the world.”

Desalination is the costly process of removing salt from ocean water to make it potable. While many scientists view it as a last-resort option for drought-stricken areas, researchers have made small advancements in recent years that has made the process incrementally more efficient. A $1 billion desalination plant that opened in December 2015 provides 50 million gallons of water a day to Carlsbad, California.

Conservation

Trump has said he wants to keep public lands in the control of the federal government, a position that his Republican opponents criticised him for during the primary. He hasn’t announced positions on other conservation issues.

“In a Trump administration, there will be shared governance of our public lands and we will empower state and local governments to protect our wildlife and fisheries,” he said on ScienceDebate. “Laws that tilt the scales toward special interests must be modified to balance the needs of society with the preservation of our valuable living resources.”

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