Ryan says Higgins was right to challenge Trump on climate change

President Higgins calls Trump’s policy on climate change ‘regressive and pernicious’

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has defended President Michael D Higgins’ comments on Donald Trump’s attitude to climate change. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has defended President Michael D Higgins’ comments on Donald Trump’s attitude to climate change. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Green party leader Eamon Ryan has defended President Michael D Higgins’ comments on Donald Trump’s attitude to climate change.

President Higgins on Tuesday criticised the US president’s policy on climate change as “regressive and pernicious”.

Mr Higgins said the US should be urged to reverse its decision to withdraw from the international 2015 Paris accord, which sets targets for countries to reduce emissions in order to lessen the impact of global warming.

On RTÉ radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show Mr Ryan said the use of the word “pernicious” by Mr Higgins was appropriate.

Mr Ryan said that Mr Higgins’ comments were a criticism of “policy not the person”.

This was appropriate when “a country goes rogue,” Mr Ryan said.

It was pernicious and such a policy caused harm, he added.

“To tackle the policy not the person is right.”

Mr Ryan also defended people who planned to protest against the US president’s visit.

“It is right to protest to show that not everyone is happy to see him here.”