President Donald Trump contradicted Monday a recent report by his own government by saying he doesn't believe that climate change can harm the United States economy over the coming decades.
When asked by a reporter about the report's conclusion that climate change will have a devastating effect on the US economy, Trump said "I don't believe it."
The government published an official report last Friday that says if no measures are taken to change current climate trends, the consequences could slash GDP by more than 10 percent.
The White House was obliged by Congress to publish this evaluation of climatic effects, and according to multiple press reports, the decision was taken to move up its release to the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday with the apparent hope that it would pass unnoticed.
Trump, who last year began the process of withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, questioned before taking office the very existence of climate change and since then has been skeptical about its effects.
Last week, the president warned on Twitter that the worst was coming in the form of a "Brutal and Extended Cold Blast" that "could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?"
Trump said Monday that he had "read some of" his own government's report on the costs of climate change, but again put the blame for the phenomenon on other countries like China and Japan.
"Right now we're at the cleanest we've ever been and that's very important to me. But if we're clean, but every other place on earth is dirty, that's not so good. So I want clean air, I want clean water, very important," he said.
According to the conclusions of the report, from now until the end of the century, Americans will have to face expenses of some $141 billion for deaths related to excess heat, $118 billion caused by the rising sea level and another $32 billion for infrastructure damage.