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President Higgins calls Trump's decision to pull out of climate change deal 'regressive and pernicious'

Higgins made the comments at a speech in the RDS today.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has said that the decision from Donald Trump to pull the US out of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change was “regressive and pernicious”.

Speaking a day before the US President is due in Ireland for his first official visit since taking office, Higgins said that America should reconsider its decision to leave the agreement.

Higgins made the comments today in a speech delivered at the European Federation of Public Service Unions Annual Congress at the RDS.

He said that trade unions had a strong role to play in “pushing for fair, ambitious and binding international agreements” on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

“While the EU has a set of binding emissions targets for 2020 and 2030, we must now plan for full decarbonisation of our European economies by 2050, encouraging the rest of the world to follow suit, and urging in the strongest possible terms the USA to re-consider its regressive and pernicious decision to leave the global Paris Agreement,” Higgins said.

Trump is due to spend two nights at his Doonbeg resort from tomorrow before returning to Washington on Friday.

Globalisation

Touching on some other topics in his speech, President Higgins said that those at risk of being excluded in society were being “abandoned to become the prey of xenophobes, homophobes and racists”.

Higgins also said the trade union movement must continue to play a role in order to ensure workers aren’t made the “casualties of globalisation, but rather that globalisation is made to work for the world’s workers”.

“The ongoing displacement of secure, certain, regular employment, for which trade unions were established, by uncertain, precarious jobs and characteristic chronic insecurity is a major cause for concern,” he said.

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