Trump targets India, China as U.S. exits climate pact

donald bhauSays Paris agreement gives undue advantage to the world’s leading polluters

The U.S. has stopped implementation of its commitments under the Paris climate agreement signed by 195 countries in 2015, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday, ignoring pleas from international allies and a significant section of U.S. political and business leaders.

The accord “would undermine our economy, hamstring our workers, weaken our sovereignty…,” Mr. Trump, who had campaigned in the 2016 election promising to pull out from it, said.

The Paris agreement gives undue advantage to India and China, “the world’s leading polluters”, at the cost of U.S. interests, Mr. Trump said, unravelling a critical area of mutual interest and cooperation between New Delhi and Washington in recent years.

Obama’s legacy

India ratified the agreement last year, and former President Barack Obama considered it as a defining legacy of his tenure.

Mr. Trump’s tirade against India, whose per capita carbon emission is one-tenth of the U.S., comes ahead of a likely visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington later this month.

“India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries,” Mr. Trump said, of the financing commitments by developed countries under the pact that is widely considered inadequate to deal with the challenges of climate change.

The President’s decision was immediately challenged by the Democrats and business leaders. “Disappointed with today’s decision. Google will keep working hard for a cleaner, more prosperous future for all,” CEO Sundar Pichai posted on Twitter.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Robert Iger resigned from the President’s economic advisory council in protest. GM said it considered clean energy technologies as a good business opportunity.

 

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