UK
12/05/2014 12:50 BST | Updated 12/05/2014 13:59 BST

Marco Rubio, Likely Republican Presidential Candidate, Denies Climate Change Is Man-Made

NEW YORK -- Marco Rubio, a likely Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 election, has denied that humans have any effect on climate change. The statement contradicted a major scientific report released last week in the US that underscored human agency in global warming.

Speaking over the weekend on the ABC channel, Rubio said he disagreed with the accepted scientific view towards climate change, stating: "I do not believe human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it… and I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy."

Rubio, from Florida, said he ascribes to a view that the global climate is "always evolving", despite the National Climate Assessment report that warned that the US has already witnessed an average warming of 2 degrees with a likely rise of 10 degrees by the end of the century should the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions not be curbed.

When questioned on the climate change threat, Rubio told host George Stephanopoulos: "Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and say this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to man-made activities."

In the UK, only a handful of non-mainstream politicians have publically denied accepted science on climate change, however in the US the issue is far more divisive with Republicans in particular quick to deny scientific research in regards to global warming.

Following publication of last week’s 840-page report, which took leading climate scientists four years to write, the findings were immediately dismissed by leading members of the GOP, with Lemar Smith, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Science Committee, calling it a "political document intended to frighten Americans into believing that any abnormal weather we experience is the direct result of human CO2 emissions."