Ivanka Trump might be warming up to climate change.
A source close to Ms. Trump recently told Politico that the president-elect's eldest daughter plans to address climate change, despite her father’s opposition to the issue.
"Ivanka wants to make climate change – which her father has called a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese – one of her signature issues," writes Politico. "The source said Ivanka is in the early stages of exploring how to use her spotlight to speak out on the issue."
If this were true, it would mean that Ivanka holds a far different opinion on the environment than her father, Donald Trump, who – despite 97 percent of climate scientists agreeing that global warming is occurring because of human activity – has expressed doubts about humans' role in the changing climate.
In 2012 Mr. Trump tweeted that climate change was a hoax invented by the Chinese to make US manufacturing more competitive. The president-elect has also proposed disbanding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, and reversing President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. He has also nominated Myron Ebell, a notorious climate skeptic, to head up his EPA transition team.
Most recently, Republican National Committee Chair and Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus said that Trump will keep an "open mind" on climate change during his presidency, but "he has a default position, which most of it is a bunch of bunk...." And in an interview with The New York Times on Nov. 23, Trump said there is "some connectivity" between humans and climate change, but added that his opinion would ultimately be decided by how much climate change is "going to cost our companies."
Some voters – especially liberal ones – have seen Ivanka has a potentially tempering force since the beginning of his campaign. And considering that 64 percent of Americans who worry a "great or fair amount" about climate change, it makes sense that Politico’s story on Ivanka-the-environmentalist has caught steam.
However, not everyone is buying it.
"There is no evidence in the Politico story nor in any of her past comments that she’ll be a voice of reason on climate change during the Trump administration. A Google search for her public comments on the issue turns up no results," Lydia O’Connor writes for the Huffington Post. "That sound bite should not give Americans reason to wonder – as Politico’s question-mark headline presumably aims to do – whether Ivanka Trump will be America’s climate change champion."
And Ms. O’Connor has a point. The anonymous source never explicitly lays out Ivanka’s exact view on climate change or the initiatives she plans on pursuing.
But climate change would not be the first liberal issue Ivanka has pushed forward during her father’s campaign. In early September Trump announced his plan for affordable child care in the United States: six weeks of paid maternity leave plus company incentives to provide employees with childcare.
"Spurred on by his daughter Ivanka," writes the Associated Press, "Trump waded into topics more often discussed by Democrats."
The Halt Action Group has created a popular "Dear Ivanka" blog and Instagram aimed at using Ivanka as a gateway to the Trump administration. Fans use the social media account to plead for Ivanka’s help and reason on a number of issues, including climate change.
"We refuse to 'wait and see,' " the group writes on their blog. "We look to you as the voice of reason."