On Thursday, US President Donald Trump announced that he would ensure the United States withdraw from the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, a landmark agreement that was signed between 195 nations to protect the planet from climate change and take steps to curb the effects of rising temperatures. Trump’s decision to pull out of the accord was the fulfillment of a campaign pledge while he ran for president last year.
The US president said he would attempt to get into negotiations to ‘re-enter’ the accord so that the terms are ‘fair’ for American citizens and workers.
“As President, I can put no other consideration before the wellbeing of American citizens,” he said.
In his announcement from the Rose Garden of the White House Thursday, Trump mentioned India a couple of times along with China while justifying his decision to leave the accord. He claimed that the deal that was signed in Paris was not tough on big emitters like India and China.
“For example, under the agreement, China will be able to increase these emissions by a staggering number of years — 13. They can do whatever they want for 13 years. Not us. India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries,” he said.
Another reference to India came when he said that the country was being allowed to build coal plants as part of the deal, while US was not.
“China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement. India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020. Think of it: India can double their coal production. We’re supposed to get rid of ours. Even Europe is allowed to continue construction of coal plants,” Trump said.
With Trump singling out India in his statement, foreign policy watchers have said prime minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to the White House could be problematic. In a 10-year energy blueprint published last year, the Indian government has said that it will exceed the targets it had set in the Paris accord nearly three-and-a-half years ahead of schedule. Also with the country having to make strides to ensure access to electricity in every household, experts have said it’s carbon allowance in Paris is reasonable.