Rubio clarifies climate change comments

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) acknowledged that the Earth's climate is changing but asserted that legislative policy proposals can’t defuse the impacts of climate change during a Tuesday appearance at the National Press Club.

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“The issue is not whether the climate is changing — as always, it is changing. The issue is whether there are legislative proposals before us that can do anything about it. And what I have said, and what I disagree with, is the notion that if we pass Cap and Trade, for example, it will stop this from happening,” he said.

Rubio’s faced criticism over comments he made this weekend on ABC News that he doesn’t believe “that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it." Then, and again on Tuesday, Rubio said he believes climate change is real.

But during his NPC question and answer session, he notably didn't repeat his assertion that climate change is not caused by human activities.

On Tuesday, Rubio said he supports mitigation efforts to lessen the impacts of disastrous weather events, and that “there are things [the U.S.] can do to become more efficient” in its use of energy on develop alternative sources of energy.

But he took issue with the idea that legislative proposals would offer a fix to the natural disasters, shifts in weather and other negative impacts most scientists attribute to man-made climate change.

“I by no means am going to go out and tell people that if we do these things that they’re proposing, by changing these laws and the way we conduct our energy policy, that it would have any measurable impact on our weather because it’s not accurate to say that,” he said.

—This piece was updated at 3:45 to clarify Rubio's NPC remarks.