Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has said the decision of US President, Donald Trump to leave the Paris Climate Accord is an act of environmental and economic vandalism on future generations of children, not only in the United States, but also in every country on the planet.

“Yesterday’s announcement that it would voluntarily withdraw from the accord’s binding criteria from 4 November 2020, and from all non-binding requirements immediately removes one of the world’s largest producers of harmful carbon emissions from a global agreement that demonstrated a global commitment to end the damage being inflicted on our planet.

“President Trump’s rationale that he is putting America first with this decision is based on a bogus understanding of climate change, its causes and worryingly its implications on global social-economic conditions for people and communities.

“America’s interests have been jeopardised by this decision, and for us here in Ireland, we will also feel the implications.

“President Trump’s actions are all taking place at a time when the golf course that he owns in Doonbeg, Co. Clare are seeking permission to build climate defence walls to counter the effects of changes in weather patterns, and increasingly stormy conditions.

“Mr Trump, and his business empire, may have the financial wherewithal to mitigate climate change, but there are thousands of farmers, homeowners and business owners who don’t and who need a global agreement to counter the increasing flooding and coastal erosion, not the mention to the millions of poor people in low income countries whose livelihoods are being destroyed.

“Across the world right now, El Niño and La Niña are ravaging already-poor communities. The droughts currently ongoing in South Sudan, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe have been directly linked to changing climate patterns caused by increasing atmospheric temperatures asa result of carbon emissions.

“The 194 countries that remain committed to the Paris Agreement, must unite, redouble their efforts and, despite this act of self-harm by the United States, forge ahead with creating a cleaner, greener economy that will preserve our home, planet Earth, for generations to come.

“Ireland, with its EU partners, must be to the forefront of driving an energy revolution that finally breaks the link between fossil fuel consumption and economic prosperity once and for all.

“I welcome the decision by the Governors of California, New York and Washington to ensure that their states abide by the Paris Accord criteria, and hope that other state administrations follow suit,” concluded Dooley.