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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

The social media addiction bubble

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Right now, everyone from Senate leaders to the makers of Netflix's popular "Social Dilemma" is promoting the idea that Facebook is addictive.

Yes, but: Human beings have raised fears about the addictive nature of every new media technology since the 18th century brought us the novel, yet the species has always seemed to recover its balance once the initial infatuation wears off.

Young people's next big COVID test

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Young, healthy people will be at the back of the line for coronavirus vaccines, and they'll have to maintain their sense of urgency as they wait their turn — otherwise, vaccinations won't be as effective in bringing the pandemic to a close.

The big picture: "It’s great young people are anticipating the vaccine," said Jewel Mullen, associate dean for health equity at the University of Texas. But the prospect of that enthusiasm waning is "a cause for concern," she said.

8 hours ago - World

New Zealand authorities charge 13 parties over deadly volcano eruption

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at New Zealand's parliament in Wellington. Photo: Mark Tantrum Photography via Getty Images

New Zealand authorities laid safety violation charges Monday against 10 organizations and three individuals over the fatal Whakaari/White Island volcanic disaster last December, per a statement from the agency WorksSafe.

Details: WorksSafe declined to name those charged as they may seek name suppression in court. But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said government agencies GNS Science, which monitors volcanic activity, and the National Emergency Management Agency were among those charged over the "horrific tragedy" that killed 22 people.