SDLP Foyle Westminster candidate Mark Durkan has said it is ‘deeply regrettable’ that Donald Trump has “turned his back on the world” by withdrawing from the Paris agrement on climate change.
Mr Durkan said that the US President has now joined only two other countries across the world – Syria and Nicaragua – who have not signed up to the international pact.
Mr Durkan, who has voted in parliament on issues including climate change, nuclear, clean air, pollution and marine and wildlife habitats, said:
“Climate change is one of the most profound challenges and greatest threats of our generation.
“2016 broke temperature records for the third consecutive year – and therefore we are at a real crossroads when it comes to our planet’s future.
“In this context, it is deeply regrettable that Donald Trump has turned his back on the world and is not taking global warming or climate change seriously.”
He continued: “I welcome the fact that China, India and Japan have indicated they will honour their commitments on climate change – and that EU leaders are saying with a unified voice that the Paris climate agreement is ‘an imperative more important than ever.”
“Indeed,” Mr Durkan added, “we must all send a united message to Donald Trump that this is a pivotal time for our planet and that more needs to be done by his administration to tackle climate change and build a sustainable future.”
“It is also vitally important that Trump’s stance isn’t used by other governments or countries to backslide on their own commitments.
“We also need to remember that people in the developing world are often the hardest hit by the effects of climate change.
“I therefore vow to continue my support for Trócaire’s ‘Feel the Heat’ campaign and others which have called on international governments to agree to legally binding targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and address the dangerous effects of global warming.
“I also pledge to continue to take a strong stand in Parliament on the threat to the world posed by climate change – and lobby government to see support for developing countries increased so that they can achieve clean development.”