Editor’s Note: You can watch the whole Harrison Ford interview on Connect The World, Wednesday 13 February, 10am ET, 3pm GMT.
Actor Harrison Ford has criticized the Trump administration’s stance on climate change, saying “the current government is bent on dismantling all of the gains we’ve made in the protection of the environment.”
Speaking to CNN’s Becky Anderson in Dubai, where he will be discussing ocean conservation at the World Government Summit, Ford said climate is “probably the most pressing issue that we have on a global scale, and it’s a global problem that needs global solutions.”
But he added that governments around the world were lagging behind when it came to climate action.
“There’s this isolationism, nationalism that’s creeping into governments all across the developed world,” said Ford. “And the problems require attention on nature’s scale not on the scale of the next election.
“It’s not about political ideologies … we’ve been disaggregated into political ideology groups and we’ve got to find this middle ground to get things done.”
Ford, the star of blockbusters including the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, has long been involved with environmental causes and is vice chair of US non-profit Conservation International.
He expressed frustration with climate deniers, who he said were trying to “preserve the status quo.”
“I don’t know what the answer to it is, but the start of the answer is to elect people who believe in science,” he said. “This current government is bent on dismantling all of the gains we’ve made in the protection of the environment, in human health.”
Anxious for ‘more enlightened leadership’
In 2017, Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the landmark Paris Agreement, where the world’s countries committed to keeping global temperatures to well below 2C above pre industrial levels.
Last December, the US sided with Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait at a global climate summit to contest language supporting a landmark climate report.
Countries at the COP24 summit in Poland were asked to “welcome” a UN report by 91 scientists, from 44 countries, which says governments around the world must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid disastrous levels of global warming. But the US was only willing to “note” the report.
In the past, Trump has repeatedly called climate change a hoax. Last year, he said he doesn’t believe that climate change is a hoax – but said he didn’t know if it is manmade and added that “it’ll change back again.”
Ford was more hopeful that the 2020 US elections could bring a change in climate leadership.
“We’ve got to elect leaders who are going to face the realities that we’re talking about, and do something about it,” he told CNN.
“I’m very anxious that we be successful in gaining more enlightened leadership. Certainly there are candidates for high office that do recognize the importance of science and the responsibility of generations to succeeding generations.”