President-elect Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump has been a surprising advocate for key liberal issues, including child care reform. What role she will play in her father's administration has been a large topic of conversation, and her political views could shape the White House more than the children of previous presidents. Recently, reports have surfaced that Ivanka wants to address climate change, in a sharp contrast with the GOP. But does Ivanka Trump even believe in climate change?
Because the president-elect's wife, Melania Trump, won't immediately be moving to the White House, Ivanka may be tasked with filling the shoes of the First Lady. CNN reported that Ivanka will be assigned duties normally given to the First Lady, though Trump's transition team has said that no decisions have been made yet about what role Ivanka will play in The White House.
The president-elect has made it clear he wants Ivanka to be involved in his administration, along with her husband Jared Kushner, according to an interview Trump did on Fox News Sunday earlier this week. "If you look at Ivanka — she's so strongly, as you know, into the women's issues and childcare...Nobody could do better than her," Trump said.
In early December, Politico reported that an anonymous source close to Ivanka said that Trump's eldest daughter wants to make climate change one of her "signature issues."
"She is playing a critical role in being able to have issues that moderate and liberal women care about — and creating a bridge to the other side,” the unnamed source told Politico.
One of the ways Ivanka has made an attempt to bridge that gap is by facilitating a meeting with herself, the president-elect, and Al Gore to discuss environmental issues. Gore has a long history of environmental activism and is founder of The Climate Reality Project, which is dedicated to finding a solution for climate change. According to an anonymous source close to Gore, Ivanka reached out to Gore, who agreed to the meeting because he was “impressed by her thoughtful comments and framing on the issue,” the source told The Washington Post. “She clearly is an emissary, and was on this one."
But if Ivanka wants to make climate change a key issue, she certainly is being quiet about it. Most of the reports that she is working to speak out on the topic have come from anonymous sources.
Many have scoffed in disbelief that Ivanka will become a champion for solving climate change in her father's White House. The Huffington Post pointed out that, even if Ivanka does make climate change a key issue, we don't know on which side of the issue she stands. Motherboard even noted that the only time Ivanka has publicly discussed climate change was to dismiss it on Twitter in 2010.
But that argument is a bit unfair — after all, it's been six years since Ivanka wrote that tweet, and people can (and do) change their minds about important social and political issues the more they learn about them.
What's more important to focus on is the fact that Trump has picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency, because Pruitt has close ties to the fossil fuel industry and has denied climate change.
"...It's vital that we not be fooled by what this administration is doing," Michael Brune of the environmental organization Sierra Club told The Chicago Tribune of Pruitt being picked to head the EPA. "It's great that Ivanka and Jared may, occasionally, feel that climate change is an issue. Until they're setting policy, it's a sideshow, it's a distraction — at best."