Trump UN Ambassador confirmation hearing testimony

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said in an interview Tuesday that she sees no reason why the Trump administration would reject new findings about the impact of climate change on the United States, adding that climate change "is real."

The former South Carolina governor was asked on NBC's "Today" show about a new climate change report from government scientists at 13 federal agencies. The New York Times obtained a copy of the report, which is awaiting approval from the Trump administration before it can be made public.

The New York Times reports that authors of the draft noted: "Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases, are primarily responsible for recent observed climate change."

The findings come almost two months after President Donald Trump announced the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, a historic pact between nations to adopt green energy sources, cut down on emissions and limit the rise of global temperatures.

"Just because we pulled out of the Paris accord doesn’t mean we don’t believe in climate protection," Haley said. "We're not saying that climate change is not real. It is real."

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Haley said she has not seen the report herself, but sees no reason why the administration would reject the findings from the federal climate scientists. She went on to say that the administration is trying to find a balance between protecting business interests with environmental protections.

"It's how do you have that balance between making sure you’ve got jobs and businesses moving and then also making sure you protect your climate. The answer’s in the middle," Haley said.

Haley defended the Trump administration's stance on climate change in June when she said, "President Trump believes the climate is changing, and he believes pollutants are part of that equation."

Reach Caitlin Byrd at 843-937-5590 and follow her on Twitter @MaryCaitlinByrd.

Political Reporter

Caitlin Byrd is a political reporter at The Post and Courier and author of the Palmetto Politics newsletter. Before moving to Charleston in 2016, her byline appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times. To date, Byrd has won 17 awards for her work.