Mitt Romney: Humans contribute to global warming

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 2: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination June 2, 2011 at Bittersweet Farm in Stratham, New Hampshire. This is Romney's second run for president following his bid in 2008 when he lost out to U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ). (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images) Darren McCollester

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination June 2, 2011 at Bittersweet Farm in Stratham, New Hampshire.
Darren McCollester

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney broke with many in his party on Friday when he said he believes humans have contributed to global warming.

"I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that," said at a New Hampshire town hall meeting, according to Reuters.

There is widespread consensus within the scientific community that the earth warming and that human beings are at least partially responsible. But many Republicans dispute that conclusion, including Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Inhofe has suggestedthat global warming is a hoax that "started in the United Nations and the ones in the United States who really grab a hold of this is the Hollywood elite."

Romney reportedly said Friday that he believed the United States as well as foreign nations need to "reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases," saying they "may be significant contributors" to climate change.

As Reuters notes, one of 2012 GOP Romney's rivals, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, said last week that the push to address climate change is "the newest excuse to take control of lives" by "left-wing intellectuals." Gingrich had previously suggested that "our country must take action on climate change."

Gingrich is not the only Republican presidential contender to shift on climate change issues. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said in 2007 that "it's time for Congress to act by capping greenhouse gas pollution," but he now says it isn't the time to address the issue. And former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has backed offhis previous support for cap-and-trade energy legislation, saying he had been wrong in once calling for a cap on carbon emissions.

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