Theresa May criticises Donald Trump over Paris climate deal withdrawal

Posted On: 
21st September 2017

Theresa May has suggested Donald Trump's withdrawal from a global climate change deal is as big a threat to the world as North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Theresa May addresses the UN General Assembly in New York.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Prime Minister used her address to the United Nations General Assembly to take a thinly-veiled swipe at the US president.

President Trump announced earlier this year that he was removing America from the Paris Accord, which committed developed nations around the world to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

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But Mrs May said the deal was part of a global "rules-based system" which was vital to the peace and security of the world, and should not be "flouted" by any country.

She said: "As the global system struggles to adapt, we are confronted by states deliberately flouting – for their own gain – the rules and standards that have secured our collective prosperity and security.

“It is the fundamental values that we share, values of fairness, justice and human rights, that have created the common cause between nations to act together in our shared interest and form the multilateral system.

“And it is this rules-based system which we have developed – including the institutions, the international frameworks of free and fair trade, agreements such as the Paris climate change accord, and laws and conventions like the non-proliferation treaty – which enables the global co-operation through which we can protect those values."

It is just the latest example of Mrs May being forced to distance herself from President Trump, who is set to be given a state visit to the UK next year.

Just last week, she made clear her frustration after the billionaire businessman appeared to blame Scotland Yard for failing to prevent the Parsons Green terror attack.

The Prime Minister also used her UN speech repeated International Development Secretary Priti Patel's warning that Britain could withhold funding for the body unless it reforms.

She said: "Throughout its history the UN has suffered from a seemingly unbridgeable gap between the nobility of its purposes and the effectiveness of its delivery.

"When the need for multilateral action has never been greater, the shortcomings of the UN and its institutions risk undermining the confidence of states as members and donors.

"Even more importantly, they risk the confidence and faith of those who rely upon the blue helmets; who rely upon that sign I stand in front of today coming to their aid in the darkest of hours."