‘India committed to Paris climate deal’

| | Updated on: Jun 02, 2017
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Environment Minister mum on Trump charge of India trying to extract ‘billions of dollars’

India on Friday said it is steadfast in its commitment to combating climate change, regardless of the US decision to pull out from the Paris climate pact.

“As far as the Paris Accord is concerned, as far as committing ourselves to climate change, global warming and protecting the environment is concerned, our government is committed, irrespective of the stand taken by anyone, Environment Minister Harsh vardhan said.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi provided leadership at the Paris Summit and the Government is committed to ensure the best is done to address the issues relating to climate change and global warming.

New Delhi, however, refrained from reacting to the charge of US President Donald Trump that India was trying to extract “billions and billions and billions” of dollars of foreign aid from the developed world for honouring the climate deal.

The chief objective of the Paris pact adopted by 195 countries in December 2015 was to prevent an increase the global average temperature and keep it well below 2 degrees Celsius. The deal, which replaced the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, was ratified last October. With its decision to exit the Paris Agreement, the US joins Syria and Nicaragua, which are not part of the climate deal.

Many experts have been critical of the Trump decision. “The US is not only the largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, but also one of the major current emitters. Without the active and ambitious contribution from the US, any action to combat climate change will be insufficient by a huge margin, said Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director-General of Centre for Science and Environment.

“This decision is truly unfortunate, because it completely ignores the scientific reality of climate change and the moral responsibility of the US for taking action and the Trump decision does not serve his intent of America first, said R K Pachauri, who was Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 2002 to 2015.

A major fallout of the US decision on developing countries would be felt in two areas — finance and technology transfer. Washington, which committed $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, has so far given $1 billion. “Filling this resource gap is going to be an issue,” said Indrajit Bose of Third World Network.

“India and China cannot be expected to fill the gap left by the US, either in terms of financial support or emissions cuts,” he said.

Country Director at World Bank India, Junaid Kamal Ahmad said that India’s clean energy addition programme will not be affected by the US move. “Modi has made a very important statement that this nation will deliver 175 GW of renewable energy. I do not see that being shaken by external events because it is driven by what India feels is right for itself,” Ahmad said.

According to Ajay Mathur, Director-General, The Energy and Resources Institute, the absence of US leadership and financial support in implementing the Agreement could delay actions to both reduce global emissions as well as to adapt to the adverse impacts of the climate change that has already occurred.

Published on January 12, 2018

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