135 members of the UK's climate change research community, including 15 UCL researchers, wrote to the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May ahead of the July 2018 visit of President Trump.
In the letter to Theresa May, researchers urged the Prime Minister to challenge President Trump about his policy of inaction on climate change, including prior actions at the G7 summit, the June 2017 announcement of the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement and attempts to stop all financial support for the UN Framework. Such a stance is deemed to collectively signal the US Government's desire to "not contribute to international efforts to manage the substantial risks caused by rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere." Instead, President Trump is "ignoring the advice both of international experts and of experts in the United States." The signatories advocate that the UK should take advantage of the "special relationship with the United States" to promote evidence driven policy making and not treat climate change "as if it were just an issue of partisan domestic politics."
In her response dated 10 August 2018, the Prime Minister offered reassurance that the UK's position on climate change is very clear and reaffirmed the commitment to Paris as the "right global framework for tackling climate change." The Prime Minister pledged that "the UK will continue to take leadership on climate change" and that the UK Government will seek to maintain "close work with the US on this important agenda as the world transitions to a low carbon economy."
The letter concludes: "we remain committed to managing the risks posed by climate change and to work closely with the US to encourage them to play their role in reducing carbon emissions. Ultimately our nations are safer, more prosperous and more creative when we work together"
The Prime Minister's firm acknowledgement that "we are already seeing the devastating effects of climate change around the world" is a distinct contrast to responses from President Trump on the matter, including a previous tweet stating that "global warming is based on faulty science and manipulated data".
If you are a UCL academic with an interest in climate change you can join the Environment Domain Climate Change Working Group, please contact Dr Becca Burns via Environment@UCL.ac.uk