Mary Robinson’s fierce attack on US President

Mary Robinson fierce attack US President
Former president Mary Robinson. Photo: Sam Boal/

The former President of Ireland launched a bitter attack on Trump for walking away from climate treaty

by Adam Shaw

Former Irish President Mary Robinson has condemned Donald Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the Paris climate accord.

She accused Mr Trump of walking away from his responsibilities and ignoring global interests.

The agreement was signed by almost 200 countries back in 2015 and seeks to deal with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation.

In the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to:

  • Keep global temperatures “well below” the level of 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and “endeavour to limit” them even more, to 1.5C. (However, US think tank Climate Interactive predicts that if all nations fully achieve their Paris pledges, the average global surface temperature rise by 2100 is expected to be 3.3C, or 3.6C without the US).
  • Limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100.
  • Review each country’s contribution to cutting emissions every five years so they scale up to the challenge.
  • Enable rich countries to help poorer nations by providing “climate finance” to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy.

The US’ withdrawal means that there are now just three countries not involved.

Nicaragua – which was protesting that the pact was not extreme enough – and Syria did not originally sign up.

“It is unconscionable that one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters would simply walk away from its responsibility to people both at home and abroad, in the interest of short- term fossil fuel profits,” Mrs Robinson said. “It is truly shocking that the United States, once proud to have been a leader on multilateral issues, has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement which was negotiated by over 190 world leaders, over decades, in the interests of all people and the planet.”

Mary Robinson fierce attack US President

She added that the accord was not something that could be renegotiated in the interests of one country – “especially not when that country bears the greatest historical responsibility for global greenhouse gas emissions”.

Mr Trump argued that the agreement “disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other states” and that his decision was a “reassertion of America’s sovereignty”.

But the move has been criticised by several world leaders, including new French President Emmanuel Macron who used one of Mr Trump’s own phrases, urging people to “make our planet great again”.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was disappointed at the decision and told Mr Trump in a phone call that the deal protects the “prosperity and security of future generations”.

However, Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn accused her of “subservience” to the US President by failing to sign a joint condemnation from France, Germany and Italy.

Jean-Claude Junker, President of the European Commission, described the move as “seriously wrong” and joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel in declaring that the commitments made in Paris could not be altered.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said he would “not judge” Mr Trump for his decision. The global accord seeks to address the rise in the earth’s temperature attributed to emissions.

According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the world’s average temperature has increased by about 0.8C since 1880, with two-thirds of that increase coming since 1975.

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