Queen Noor of Jordan has said it was “short-sighted” of President Donald Trump to pull out of the Paris agreement on climate change.
Speaking to Sky News’ Dermot Murnaghan ahead of World Oceans Day on Friday, the Syrian-American queen dowager of Jordan said the US leader and his government were “just not thinking”.
Mr Trump announced in June 2017 that “the Paris accord will undermine (the US) economy)” and that it “puts (the US) at a permanent disadvantage”.
He also said the withdrawal would be in accordance with his America First policy.
“I think it’s extremely short-sighted,” Queen Noor said.
“All I can say to myself constantly is – not only the president but the people around him who were part of this movement – are they not concerned about their children, and their children, and what kind of a world they will live in?”
Queen Noor – who has made environmental priorities an essential component of her work – called the move from the US “destructive”.
She added: “Anyone who is looking for short-term political gain from taking such a destructive series of steps rolling back – those kinds of protections that are in place for their children – and for our species as a whole is just not thinking.”
The Paris agreement’s main aim is to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels – predominantly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It was an addition to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and was initially agreed to by all 195 countries present at its 2015 climate change conference, including the US when under Barack Obama’s leadership.
The royal emphasised that we need “to take action more quickly” about ocean health.
She said: “As an ocean elder I’m emphasising the connection between human security and ocean health.
“It’s a connection that is often overlooked and it’s critical that people understand our health as a species relies upon the health of the oceans.
Queen Noor said she has been connected to the oceans since “early childhood” growing up on the Pacific Ocean.
Speaking about her work in Jordan, she said: “Today, in my sustainable work in Jordan and the Middle East and beyond which is focused on human security, refugees, conflict recovery in various regions including ours, and the eradication of poverty.
“As an ocean elder I’m emphasising the connection between human security and ocean health.
“It’s a connection that is often overlooked and it’s critical that people understand our health as a species relies upon the health of the oceans.”
Regarding Prince William’s upcoming visit to Jordan, Queen Noor revealed she “won’t be seeing him”.
“I hope he will have a very fulfilling and happy and interesting visit there,” she added.
:: Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign encourages people to reduce their single-use plastics. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved at skyoceanrescue.com.