The day after an international panel of scientists issued a stark warning about the short window in which world leaders can act to avoid catastrophic climate change, the president of the United States didn’t comment on whether the U.S. accepts or will act on the findings.
A panel of more than 90 scientists under the United Nations published a report warning that the world has about 12 years to drastically reduce carbon emissions before the impact of climate change could become irreversible.
“It was given to me. And I want to look at who drew it. You know, which group drew it. I can give you reports that are fabulous, and I can give you reports that aren’t so good. But I will be looking at it, absolutely,” he told reporters.
The U.N. group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, shared the Nobel peace prize with Al Gore in 2007 for its work to share information about climate change.
The report released this week was written by 91 co-authors from 40 countries, cited more than 6,000 references and incorporated 42,000 comments from governments and experts.
The Environmental Protection Agency, charged with protecting human health and the environment, said on Monday the government doesn’t comment on specific findings but thanked the UN panel.
“We appreciate the hard work of the scientists and experts, many from the United States, who developed this report under considerable time pressure,” an EPA spokesperson said in a statement. “Governments do not formally endorse specific findings presented by the authors.”
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert did not answer a question about the report in the department’s briefing on Tuesday.
Talking points provided by a department spokesperson said the U.S. has reduced carbon dioxide emissions and has “unburdened communities, individuals and industries” by allowing them to develop their own policies. The information provided by the State Department did not address the specific findings of the report or its call for “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes” to governments’ policies and consumers’ behaviors.