President Donald Trump cast doubt on a United Nations report that warned that we have just 12 years to curb climate change by suggesting the reports' authors weren't more credible than reports that say the environment is "fabulous."
The UN report, which is based on more than 6,000 scientific references from 91 authors across 40 countries, outlines the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
It warns that the world is rapidly running out of time before catastrophic effects on the planet take place.
Drafted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN's climate change body, the report calls for "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society."
Trump, who has previously called climate change a "hoax", was speaking on the White House lawn on Tuesday when he said the report "was given to me."
"And I want to look at who drew it. You know, which group drew it."
Without specifying which reports he was talking about, he signaled that other were as valid as the UN's: "I can give you reports that are fabulous and I can give you reports that aren't so good."
Trump tweeted in 2012 that "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive."
As President, Trump has been unwilling to take steps to curb climate change that he feels would damage industry.
In 2017, he announced that he was pulling the US from the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change. 195 nations signed the accord in December 2015, which set the loose global goal of keeping the planet from warming by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Trump's decision was met with global condemnation.
"We are going to be environmentally friendly, but we're not going to put our businesses out of work, and we're not going to lose our jobs. We're going to grow," Trump said at the time.
Also from Business Insider South Africa: