In the wake of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate deal, Vice President Pence questioned why climate change is such a “paramount issue for the left.”
“We’ve demonstrated real leadership. We’ve demonstrated real progress,” Pence said in an interview with Fox News late Thursday. “But for some reason or another, this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country and around the world.”
Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that human activity is significantly contributing to global warming and rapid climate change, and argue that without drastic action the phenomenon will deal permanent harm to both the environment and humans.
While climate change has certainly emerged as a key part of the Democratic Party’s platform, however, some Republicans have called on the U.S. to address the matter as well, and even members of the president’s administration lobbied him to keep the U.S. in the Paris agreement.
Among those who called on Trump to remain was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who in his previous job as CEO of Exxon Mobil embraced calls to combat climate change. Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner also reportedly lobbied for the president to stay in the agreement.
But Trump, who once insisted that climate change is a hoax invented by China, argued that the 195-nation climate pact was detrimental to U.S. jobs and economic growth, a position backed by a number of White House officials, including Pence and chief strategist Stephen Bannon.