Trump administration disbands climate change advisory committee

21 Aug 2017

Trump in 2016. Image: Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock

US president Donald Trump has once again angered scientists by dissolving a climate change advisory committee.

Following his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement in June, the news today (21 August) that the Trump administration has disbanded the 15-person Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment has saddened many.

The Scientific American reported that the charter for the advisory group expired on 20 August, and the administration informed members that it would not be going up for renewal.

‘We’re going to be running huge risks here and possibly end up hurting the next generation’s economic prospects’

The group was set up in 2015 to help states, businesses and local governments implement recommendations from the next climate assessment report, due in 2018. This report is likely to lay out all of the ways in which global warming will affect the US in the coming decades.

Richard Moss, chair of the advisory group, told The Washington Post that ending its work prematurely “doesn’t seem to be the best course of action”.

He added: “We’re going to be running huge risks here and possibly end up hurting the next generation’s economic prospects.”

‘Stepping away from reality’

Mayor of Seattle, Ed Murray, described this decision as “an example of a president not leading, and the president stepping away from reality”.

Many of the members of the now-defunct group hope to continue their work outside of the federal committee process, with Moss adding: “We believe in the importance of completing this charge, and we will find a way to do it.” He described the decision as “another thing that is just part of the political football game”.

This decision by the Trump administration is one in a long line that has angered and upset many science and climate professionals, with Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt also being accused of actively tilting US science boards toward industry.

The tech industry will no doubt have issues with this choice, considering that figureheads such as Elon Musk, Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai have all vehemently opposed the 45th president’s views on the subject.

Donald Trump in 2016. Image: Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects