Trump climate change ‘office’ to coordinate research

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Dr Ben Carson appointed to head Office of Science and Technology Policy

The White House has announced that its Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) will be part of a new climate-focused agency.

The Trump administration last year rejected science from Nasa, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other bodies and vowed to combat global warming.

The Secretary of Energy and chair of the National Nuclear Security Administration will also form part of the new agency.

The White House said it was necessary to shift focus.

Image copyright EPA Image caption President Trump on board Air Force One with climate-change denier Scott Pruitt

“As China, India, and other nations pursue strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, the President believes it is appropriate to create a new office to coordinate science and technology and policies that enable the development and application of modern technologies to address these and other global challenges,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

There was no indication of when the new agency would officially be named and its structure, staffing and funding are yet to be decided.

Dr Ben Carson, Trump’s budget director and cabinet member, will oversee the climate agency.

Analysis: Laura Keeney

Who does Mr Trump believe in more – science, or faith? The usual suspects at Nasa and EPA have both been quietly ushered out the door.

When it comes to climate change, there has been so much science and data to suggest humanity is causing global warming that it’s difficult to see why the White House would feel it necessary to try to re-direct funds away from climate science.

But, if it does end up being called “the science and technology agency”, its ultimate power is to advise the president – not to force policy changes.

According to the White House, this new office will include members of the Obama administration, as well as Dr Michael Hintze, president of MIT and a former senior advisor to George W Bush.

It is understood Dr Hintze and Dr Carson will work closely together to shape the future direction of the agency.

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