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Is Ivanka Trump the climate movement's best new hope?

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Is Ivanka Trump the climate movement's best new hope?

WATCH  | Ivanka Trump could be the climate movement's best hope for action under Donald Trump's presidency. 

Ivanka spearheads climate meeting

It seems safe to say: If it weren't for Ivanka, the president-elect probably never would have met with Al Gore. 

After all, it was Ivanka who was scheduled to meet with the former vice president and renowned climate activist on Monday at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Her father, the president-elect, was not supposed to be at the meeting, his spokesperson said earlier in the day. 


Gore meets The Donald

But as it turns out, Gore spent the "bulk" of his time with the president-elect himself -- and the two had an "extremely interesting conversation," according to Gore, who spoke briefly with reporters after the meeting.

One reason it was interesting likely surrounds the two men's difference of opinion. While Gore has spent decades trying to fight human-caused climate change, Trump has said he does not believe it is real or a problem.

Ivanka's 'signature issue'

But Ivanka is different from her father -- and appears to be the only member of his inner circle that has been outspoken about climate change and environmentalism in general. 

The First Daughter-to-be has been making climate-related headlines since last week, when POLITICO reported that she would seek to make climate a "signature issue" during her father's presidency. A source told POLITICO that Ivanka "is in the early stages of exploring how to use her spotlight to speak out."

Environmentalists brace for a big reversal of climate gains under a Trump administration

Watch  | Environmentalists say they're fearful of, but prepared to take on, a Trump presidency. Trump has pledged to reverse many of the policy gains they've made over the last few years.

Ivanka's past environmentalism

It is not the first time she's indicated an interest in environmentalism. In a 2007 interview regarding a possible Trump Tower in Seattle, Washington, Ivanka praised environmentally sensitive building practices. "Green development is very important, as it should be," she said at the time

In 2008, she co-hosted a renewable energy-related gala  at the United Nations. Paolo Zampolli, who also co-hosted the event, told Circa that Ivanka was interested in clean power.

'She was interested in the renewables'

"She was interested in the renewables," Zampolli said. He emphasized, however, that there was a lot of excitement surrounding clean power at the time. "It was something new on the agenda. Everybody was into that 10 years ago. It was something completely new."


Zampolli -- who introduced president-elect Trump to his wife Melania -- also said he did not talk to Ivanka about climate change during the event. 

Renewable energy gala

While the event was billed "the Diamond Awards Gala for Renewable Energy and The Friends of Climate Change," Zampolli said the event was more about renewables than climate change.

"We were promoting renewable energy projects, from solar, to biofuel, to wind, to biomass. Everything," he said. "We were focusing more on renewable energy than debating the values of climate change."

Ivanka asked Obama for climate legislation

Ivanka also signed an open letter in 2009 asking President Obama and Congress to enact "meaningful and effective measures to control climate change."

Her father, as it turns out, signed the same letter, which stated that the clean energy “will spur economic growth” and “create new energy jobs.”

Trump met with climate doubter shortly after

Just because Trump met with Gore, though, doesn't necessarily mean Trump will convert to an environmentalist.

According to Vox, Trump was scheduled to meet with his main energy adviser Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) shortly after his meeting with Gore. Cramer has said he thinks the main tenets of climate science are “grossly exaggerated.”

Here's what Gore told reporters as he left Trump Tower.

It's true you guys, a bunch of millennials don't actually know who Al Gore is

WATCH  | If you don't know who Al Gore is, he's kind of a big deal when it comes to spreading the message about the danger of global climate change. Watch this video to catch up.

Trump denies climate change

Trump has said he doesn't consider climate change a problem. He's pledged to undo efforts to fight climate change, including regulations on power plant emissions and the international Paris climate treaty. 

The vast majority of climate scientists agree that current climate change is caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases, and will be catastrophic if left unchecked.

Now there's something you don't see every day.

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