FILE PHOTO: This color image of Earth, taken by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) on July 6, 2015, and released on July 20, 2015. REUTERS/NASA/Handout via Reuters/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Monday rejected projections that climate change will cause severe economic harm to the U.S. economy, findings outlined by a report his own U.S. government published last week.
The congressionally mandated report www.globalchange.gov said that climate change will cost the country’s economy billions of dollars by the end of the century, but Trump said he does not believe the economic impacts will be devastating.
“I’ve seen it, I’ve read some of it, and it’s fine,” he told reporters at the White House. Asked about severe economic impacts, he said, “I don’t believe it.”
Last year, Trump announced his intent to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris Deal to combat climate change, though the country cannot do so until after the 2020 presidential election.
Trump has also rolled back Obama-era environmental and climate rules such as the Clean Power Plan, while seeking to boost output of oil, gas and coal for domestic use and for shipping to allies and partners. U.S. output of crude oil is already the highest in the world, above Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The report, written with the help of more than a dozen U.S. government agencies and departments, said the effects of climate change would harm human health, damage infrastructure, limit water availability, alter coastlines and increase costs in various industries.
The report also said projections of damage could change if greenhouse gas emissions were curbed, although many of the impacts of climate change, like powerful storms, droughts and flooding, have already begun.
The report supplements a study issued last year that concluded humans are the main driver of global warming and warned of catastrophic effects to the planet.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by James Dalgleish and Lisa Shumaker