Wales politics

Paris climate deal rejection by Trump irresponsible, Wood says

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Media captionTrump: The world won't laugh any more at US

Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US support for the Paris climate change agreement has been condemned by Plaid Cymru, Welsh Lib Dems and the Greens.

Plaid leader Leanne Wood said the US president was "deeply irresponsible" while Lib Dem Mark Williams accused him of "environmental vandalism".

Wales Green leader Grenville Ham said he was "repaying political favours".

But UKIP's Neil Hamilton claimed Mr Trump was "right to call time on the climate change scam".

Mr Trump said he was pulling the US out of the 2015 agreement reached by 195 countries to cut emissions, claiming it "punished" his country and would cost millions of American jobs.

Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her disappointment and told the US president in a phone call that the deal protects the "prosperity and security of future generations".

Ms Wood echoed the prime minister's concerns, saying: "Climate change is a global threat that must be tackled as one united people across the world.

"Donald Trump's decision not to play his part is deeply irresponsible and a matter of great regret."

However, the president was praised by Mr Hamilton, UKIP's leader in the Welsh Assembly.

He claimed legislation to limit emissions had "all but destroyed steel-making, aluminium smelting, glass and cement manufacture in Britain".

"What mugs we are to allow our elite politicians in every party except UKIP to saddle us with ruinous energy taxes," Mr Hamilton added.

"We are now exporting manufacturing jobs to countries like China and India, with far worse emissions records.

"And we are making poor people in Wales even poorer, forcing many to choose in winter between heating and eating."

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Image caption Factories in Tianjin, China: Neil Hamilton claims the UK is losing jobs to bigger polluting countries

UKIP has claimed UK households are paying an extra £500 a year in "green taxes and charges" to fund a "middle-class politicians' vanity project".

Welsh Lib Dem leader Mark Williams was scathing in response, saying: "Like Trump, UKIP would happily put the future of our planet at risk by committing an act of environmental vandalism on a global scale.

"UKIP are more interested in political dogma than improving people's lives.

"The reality is that more than 290,000 households in Wales are living in fuel poverty, and UKIP's plans would hit hard-working people most.

"We must do everything we can to protect our environment, and the Liberal Democrats will lead the way on cleaning up our environment and with it bringing household energy bills down."

For the Greens, Mr Ham criticised the US president, saying: "This is not the first daft thing he's done, and I don't think it's going to be the last."

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales, he said: "It's really just to appease the big corporate interests - gas, oil, potentially people that have given him a lot of funding.

"I think he's repaying political favours.

"He's trying to protect those jobs and protect those interests, but the future of technology and the future of energy is in decentralised renewables."

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