A former adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump who denies the world is experiencing global warming attended a meeting at the official residence of British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday.
Myron Ebell, who headed Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition team, met with advisers to May as director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a group that campaigns against policies for tackling climate change, according to May’s office. He was earlier seen going into 10 Downing Street following a cabinet meeting.
The visit is likely to fuel concern that the U.K. could weaken its efforts to tackle climate change as it exits the European Union. May came under pressure from lawmakers to seek assurances on the future of the Paris Deal when she met with Trump last week.
“This looks as if Theresa May’s team are cozying up to the worst excesses of the climate-denying, fossil-fuel funded elite,” said Guy Shrubsole, campaigner for Friends of the Earth group.
Ebell is currently touring parts of Europe and on Monday he held a press conference where he said he expects Trump to follow through on his pledge to exit from the Paris Climate Agreement. He’s speaking a conference hosted by the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe in Brussels on Wednesday. Calls to his mobile phone went straight to voicemail.
Trump said in November he would keep an “open mind” about the Paris deal. His secretary of state nominee, Rex Tillerson, said during a confirmation hearing that it’s important for the U.S. to keep a seat at the table for global climate talks.
“I suspect the Prime Minister’s advisers might have been seeking some insight into President Trump’s policies on climate change, but they are likely to have been disappointed,” said Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, in an e-mailed statement.
“Mr Ebell has rather extreme views on climate change, and while he was part of the transition team, he is not part of the administration and has never met Mr Trump.”