New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie broke slightly with many of the announced and potential Republican presidential candidates, saying that climate change is real and that humans contribute to it.
“I think global warming is real. I don’t think that’s deniable,” Christie said at a Keene, N.H., event, according to MSNBC. “And I do think human activity contributes to it.”
Christie has previously acknowledged a human role in climate change, but he has not recently spoken about his position in depth.
Still, Christie’s policies on climate have attracted the ire of environmentalists.
In 2011, as Christie considered running for the GOP nomination in the 2012 presidential election, he pulled New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade system organized by Northeastern states.
New Jersey’s highest court said last year that Christie’s staff failed to hold a required hearing before pulling out of RGGI.
His administration later held a hearing and again ended the state’s RGGI membership.
At the time, Christie called the RGGI “completely useless plan,” according to The New York Times.
But Christie has also promised to eliminate coal-fired power plants from New Jersey.
NextGen Climate, the election funding group led by billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, welcomed Christie’s statement.
“We hope to see Gov. Christie lay out his specific plans to address this critical issue soon,” the group said in a statement. “By standing up and providing strong solutions to reduce carbon pollution, our leaders ensure we not only mitigate the impacts of climate change, but also strengthen our economy and create good-paying jobs across the country.”
Nearly all of the declared and potential candidates for the GOP’s 2016 nomination have expressed some level of doubt as to the link between human activity and climate change.
Christie plans to announce this or next month whether he will run for president.