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Kelly Knight Craft. Photo: Tom Williams/ Getty Images

President Trump’s nominee to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations publicly broke with the White House Wednesday, telling her Senate confirmation hearing climate change "poses real risks," USA Today first reported.  

"Human behavior has contributed to the change in climate, let there be no doubt. If confirmed, I will be an advocate in addressing climate change. ... I also understand that fossil fuels have played a part in climate change."
— Kelly Knight Craft statement to Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Why it matters: Trump has rejected the science on climate change and announced plans to pull out of the Paris climate agreement in 2017. Craft's statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is in contrast to one she gave in a 2017 interview with CBC Politics in which she said she endorsed "both sides of the science."

Between the lines: If confirmed by the Senate, Craft will represent U.S. interests at the UN, which recognizes climate change as a "potentially irreversible threat to human societies," per the Paris agreement. The Washington Post noted she stopped short of endorsing that agreement.

The big picture: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has made tackling climate change a priority, calling it a "catastrophic situation for the whole world." He's called for no new coal-fired power plants to be built after 2020 and ending fossil fuel subsidies.

  • Craft pledged she would recuse herself "where coal is part of the conversation within climate change," per Reuters.

Go deeper: Trump's proposed climate panel would include prominent skeptic

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

8 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.