India is committed to the Paris agreement “irrespective” of the stand taken by any other country, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan today said as the United States announced its withdrawal from the UN climate deal. “Our government is committed irrespective of the stand of anyone, anywhere in the world. It has been the stand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said, stressing that Modi had provided “leadership” at the Paris summit. “We are committed to ensuring that we will do our best to address the issue related to climate change and global warming,” Vardhan told reporters.
President Donald Trump today declared the US would withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, saying the “draconian” deal unfairly punished America but benefited countries such as India and China. The stand drew strong condemnation from leaders and environmentalists from across the world. “India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries. There are many other examples. But the bottom line is that the Paris accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States,” Trump said.
The Paris agreement commits the US and other countries to keep rising global temperatures “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and “endeavour to limit” them to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Only Syria and Nicaragua did not sign the deal. The Centre for Science and Environment here said Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris deal was a “death knell” for the climate agreement. But the US move was an opportunity for India to provide global leadership on the issue, it said. This was not the first time that the US was opting out of an international climate agreement, environmentalists pointed out. It had pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, saying emerging economies did not have quantified emission targets.