“This is a really important issue,” said Michael Leiter, a fellow at the Center for American Progress.
“It’s not just a matter of being climate neutral, but it’s also about having the ability to protect the environment.”
Leiter said that while some Republicans have embraced Trump’s position on the issue, the White House is not yet “looking to be a leader on the environment,” a sentiment echoed by the White Houses climate change task force, which has called for action on carbon emissions from the fossil fuel industry.
“I think the president is going to be very much focused on his agenda and his agenda has been a lot more aggressive on climate than any other administration in my memory,” he said.
Leiter pointed to the WhiteHouse.gov website, where the administration has been working on a plan for carbon emissions, energy efficiency, and energy conservation for the next five years.
“This will be a huge priority for them,” he added.
The Trump administration has made climate change a major priority, with the president pledging to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2030, and President Trump’s nominee for the position of administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, has previously proposed reducing carbon emissions by as much as 40 percent.
The White House has also announced that it will not be using the $15 billion that was earmarked for climate action to finance the Keystone XL pipeline, despite Trump’s campaign pledge to do so.
The administration has also pledged to put $1.6 trillion toward clean energy over the next 10 years.
But climate change isn’t the only environmental issue the administration will be working on.
Environmentalist and climate activist Gina McCarthy has been named to head the Trump administration’s transition team for climate policy, and the Trump team is expected to unveil a major environmental policy agenda in the coming months.
Environmentalists have been concerned about the administration’s climate change agenda, which the president has been criticized for ignoring, but they have not been able to find an official position on it from the Whitehouse.
In the meantime, many of the policies that Trump has promised to push are still in the process of being developed.
Environmental groups are also looking for a way to use the new administration’s position to push for climate change policy, while at the same time supporting the administration.
“We’re looking to the administration to make a real commitment to actually taking action on climate,” said Leiter.
“If the Trump transition team were to pick up on a position that it is looking to put forward, that’s going to push us into the direction that we want to be going in.”