Trump's UN nominee Kelly Craft says she believes ‘both sides’ of climate change science

Adam Forrest

Kelly Craft, the US diplomat put forward to serve as the country’s next ambassador to the United Nations, has said she respects “both sides” of climate change science.

The remarks made by the US ambassador to Canada have been widely ridiculed following Donald Trump’s decision to nominate her for the UN role.

Framing the scientific consensus on global warming as a debate in which deniers have equal credibility, Ms Craft said: “I believe there are scientists on both sides that are accurate.

“I think both sides have their own results from their studies, and I appreciate and I respect both sides of the science,” she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBS) in a 2017 interview.

Ms Craft’s husband, Joe Craft, is the billionaire president of one of the largest coal producers in the US.

He was also a leading critic of the climate change policies imposed by Barack Obama when he was in the White House.

On Friday, Mr Trump said in a pair of tweets that Ms Craft “has done an outstanding job” and he has “no doubt that, under her leadership, our Country will be represented at the highest level”.

The president has his own history of denying the science on anthropogenic climate change. Mr Trump once claimed the phenomenon was a Chinese hoax intended to hurt American exports.

He has also repeatedly confused seasonal weather with climate change, tweeting only last month that a snow-hit US could do with “a little of that good old fashioned Global Warning right now”.

In October, the president told CBS’s 60 Minutes he thought that although the climate might be changing, the climate “could very well go back”.

Both Mr Trump’s and Ms Craft’s views are at odds with the White House’s own National Climate Assessment, which accepts the role human-made emissions play in climate change.

The diplomat has yet to be confirmed in the UN role by the Senate, but White House sources told AP that the president was advised her confirmation would be the smoothest of the three candidates he had been considering.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell backed her for the post, and she reportedly has the support of secretary of state Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton.

Mr Trump’s first pick to replace former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, the State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, recently withdrew from consideration. She cited family reasons for the decision.