China has explained to Donald Trump why they could not have invented global warming, as the future leader of the free world tweeted out back in 2012.
At a United Nations conference in Marrakesh on Wednesday, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin gave the president-elect a brief history lesson, explaining that it was in fact US Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Trump’s Republican predecessors, who started up global climate negotiations in the 1980s.
“If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” Liu told reporters, according to Bloomberg.
Back in 2012, Trump made his infamous tweet calling global warming a “hoax” invented by the Chinese. During the campaign season, while still firmly maintaining his posture as a climate change denier, he distanced himself from this particular comment.
“I did not say that. I do not say that. I do not say that,” Trump responded when Hillary Clinton accused him during the first presidential debate of saying the thing that he said.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
In January of this year, Trump clarified to Fox & Friends that the tweet was a joke… sort of:
Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change. I’d be — received environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China. Obviously, I joke. But this is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change. They burn everything you could burn; they couldn’t care less. They have very — you know, their standards are nothing. But they — in the meantime, they can undercut us on price. So it’s very hard on our business.
While many aspects of a Trump presidency frighten most Americans, his resistance to terrifying scientific evidence regarding humanity’s role in climate change is perhaps at the top of the list. So far, it’s unclear what stance Trump will take as president on global warming and other environmental issues; however, his previous statements, such as pledging to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, already have people anointing China — China! — as the new leader in the fight against global warming.
For its part, China has warned Trump against pulling out of the landmark agreement that the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters agreed to in September. Other world leaders, like French President Francois Hollande, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Brazilian Environment Minister Sarney Filho have also expressed their concerns over Trump’s climate change policy.