During his second and final presidential debate with his Democratic rival Joe Biden, President Donald Trump compared the US with India, China and Russia on climate change and said these countries are filthy and they do not care much about their air but America does.
“Look at China. How filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India, it’s filthy. The air is filthy,” Trump said adding that the US has the best carbon emissions in 35 years. “We have the cleanest air, the cleanest water and the best carbon emissions”.
The US president also reiterated he “took us out” of the Paris Accord because it was “so unfair”. “I walked out of the Paris Accord as we had to take out trillions of dollars and we were treated very unfairly. I will not sacrifice millions of jobs… thousands of companies because of the Paris Accord. It is very unfair,” Trump said.
In November, 2019, the US had formally notified the UN of its withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate accord, a landmark global agreement which brought together 188 nations, including India, to combat global warming. The Paris Agreement, in which Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi played instrumental roles, was adopted at the UN climate conference “COP 21” held in the French capital in 2015 with an aim to reduce the hazardous greenhouse gas emissions.
Although Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the historic agreement on June 1, 2017, the process began after almost two and a half years in 2019 with the formal notification and the US will be out of the pact on November 4, 2020.
On Friday, apart from climate change, Trump and Biden sparred over a host of issues including Covid-19 and the pandemic economy, racism and police brutality, foreign policy and healthcare. The debate, unlike the previous one, was more disciplined and substantive.
On the vaccines front, Trump said that a COVID-19 vaccine is “ready” and going to be announced “within weeks” to combat the deadly disease that has killed over 223,000 Americans,
Ahead of the debate, the organisers had said both Trump and Biden would be allowed two uninterrupted minutes to respond to each segment. While this brought more structure to the debate, there were moments when the conversation went off course, only to be brought back by moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News.
The country will vote on November 3 to elect its representative. At least 35 million people have already cast their ballots, according to University of Florida’s US Election Project, more than a fourth of the total 2016 vote.