US President Donald Trump named India and China among key reasons for his decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, a landmark international deal struck to cut greenhouse gases and save the planet’s environment. The US President announced his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change and renegotiate the deal that was agreed upon by over 190 countries during the previous Obama administration. Interestingly, Trump said that nations such as China and India are benefiting the most from the Paris Agreement. He added that the agreement on climate change was unfair to the United States, as it badly hit its businesses and jobs. The Donald Trump speech could become the chief talking point when he meets PM Modi, as the latter is expected to visit the White House soon.
Trump has said that India would get billions of dollars for meeting its commitment under the Paris Agreement and it along with Beijing would double its coal-fired power plants in the years to come, gaining a financial advantage over the United States. Trump’s statement went like: “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 added that the Paris Accord “is very unfair, at the highest level” to the United States.
Signed in 2015, the Paris Accord came at a time scientists urged now-or-never measures to combat global warming. The agreement took nearly three years to negotiate, with countries fighting to ensure each bore the least cost of climate change while balancing tangible steps that were a must. US President Donald Trump considers climate change a ‘hoax’. He had once tweeted that the concept of global warming was ‘created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive’. During his first foreign trip that concluded recently, Trump was under immense pressure to uphold the Paris Agreement, not just from the world leaders but also Pope Francis. However, the efforts to persuade Trump failed. German Chancellor Merkel said it was “very unsatisfactory”.
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At present, US is the second-largest carbon polluter of the world. It is feared that US withdrawal from the accord would prompt other countries to withdraw as well. However, PM Narendra Modi has assured India’s participation for the global cause. Climate Interactive, which tracks global emissions and pledges, estimates that if the US doesn’t reach its Paris Accord goal, an additional 0.3°C will be added to global warming by the end of the century. However, Trump says, “The rest of the world applauded when we signed the Paris Agreement. They went wild. They were so happy. For the simple reason that it put our country, the United States of America, which we all love, at a very, very big economic disadvantage.”
In the accord, India and China have been able to protect their own interests as it still has a long way to go before it can match up with rich nations in terms of carbon emmissions. According to the agreement, most of the responsibility has to be shared by historical emitters and developed countries like the US. China and India have also defied pressure from richer countries to pay for climate change mitigation, and those funds would go to the most vulnerable nations and for technologies that will make the environment cleaner. Both the nations had argued that they were among the most-affected countries. Meanwhile, Paris agreement’s predecessor Kyoto protocol was made only for the rich nations to take action to save the world from greenhouse gases. But unlike Trump’s assertions, India and China too agreed to compromises, like agreeing to lower emission reduction goals for rich nations.
The impact of the US exit on global warming will be severe. Climate Interactive, which tracks global emissions and pledges, estimates that if the US doesn’t reach its Paris Accord goal, an additional 0.3°C will be added to global warming by the end of the century.