After years of bullishly disagreeing with mainstream climate science, president-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday said he believes there may be "some connectivity" between global warming and human activity.
In a sit-down meeting with The New York Times, Trump was asked to clarify if he agrees with the vast majority of climate scientists who say human activity is linked to climate change. Trump has repeatedly called climate change a "hoax" in past statements, usually on Twitter.
Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee - I'm in Los Angeles and it's freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2013
But on Tuesday, Trump moderated his position on the issue.
“I think there is some connectivity," Trump said. "Some, something. It depends on how much."
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- an international body of several hundred scientists -- has said it is "extremely likely" that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the main cause of observed global warming since the mid-20th century.
Does Trump think human activity is linked to climate change? “I think there is some connectivity. Some, something. It depends on how much."— Michael M. Grynbaum (@grynbaum) November 22, 2016
The New York Times' Mike Grynbaum first reported Trump's comments.
Trump softens on Paris climate agreement
Trump on Tuesday also appeared to soften his previous pledge to immediately withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, the landmark international agreement to keep man-made global warming in check.
Trump was previously bullish on his promise to scrap the agreement. But on Tuesday he told the Times he now is "looking at it very closely."
"I have an open mind to it," the president-elect said.
Trump's suggestion that he now has an "open mind" to the international climate deal will likely be welcome news to environmentalists, who have been preparing for reversals of the policy gains they made under the Obama administration.
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