President Michael D Higgins slams Donald Trump's 'regressive and pernicious' climate change position on eve of Ireland visit
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President Michael D Higgins slams Donald Trump's 'regressive and pernicious' climate change position on eve of Ireland visit

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has labelled Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement on climate change "regressive and pernicious".

It comes just over a year since the White House withdrew its commitment to the historic United Nations accord and as the US President continues his three-day state visit to the UK before jetting off to Ireland tomorrow.

Mr Trump previously said he was "looking forward to" his overnight stay at Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland in Doonbeg, Co. Clare - which has previously been embroiled in its own environmental controversy over a proposed sea wall since its purchase by the American leader in 2014.

Speaking at the 10th annual Congress of the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) in Dublin today, President Higgins issued a vinly-veiled criticism of Mr Trump's climate policy on the eve of his stopover in Ireland.

"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," President Higgins said.

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"We must urge in the strongest possible terms the USA to re-consider its regressive and pernicious decision to leave the global Paris Agreement."

The comments and their timing will no doubt be seen as a deliberate slight of Mr Trump just a day before he is due to land at Shannon Airport.

Climate change is expected to be on the agenda when the US President meets with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Wednesday evening.