Paris or no Paris, India committed to protecting the climate: PM Modi

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New Delhi: India on June 2 asserted that it is committed to protecting the climate irrespective of international deals or other countries stand on it.
“Paris or no Paris, our commitment to preserving the climate is for the sake of future generations,” Prime Minister Modi said at St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
His comments came hours after US President Donald Trump’s stormy exit from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The Prime Minister said India had been working to protect the environment even before 190 countries had agreed to sign the Paris deal in 2015.
“I have in simple way stated the dream of ‘new India’. I quoted from 5000-year-old Vedas to say humans have a right to milk the nature but have no right to exploit it,” PM Modi said.
When asked about his stance on Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the international climate change deal, PM Modi said he won’t take sides on the subject as he was on the side of the future generations.
Modi said he was asked a similar question in Germany earlier this week, before the US decision was made public. At the time, he had replied: “Paris or no Paris, it is our conviction that we have no right to snatch from our future generation their right to have a clean and beautiful earth.”
The Prime Minister reiterated the same message in St Petersburg on June 2 and also pointed out that India is investing billions of dollars in clean energy infrastructure to cut down on emissions and reduce its carbon footprint.
Earlier in the day, Trump had announced that the US was withdrawing from the Paris climate change deal and accused China and India of benefitting from the accord at the expense of the US.
China and the US, the world’s first and second biggest polluters, respectively, are together responsible for some 40 per cent of the world’s emissions. India accounts for 4.1 percent of global emissions and is the third largest carbon-emitting country.
While PM Modi avoided a direct reference to the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized that the world needs to work together with the US to on the issue of climate change.
“You shouldn’t make a noise about this, but should create the conditions for joint work. If such a major emitter as the US is not going to cooperate entirely then it won’t be possible to agree any deal in this area,” Putin told media-persons at SPIEF.
He also insisted that he didn’t blame Trump for quitting the landmark accord and that the US leader “shouldn’t be judged” for his decision.
Other world leaders have reacted with anger and defiance after Trump’s announcement abandoning the single most important international effort to curb global warming. Led by Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron, they have branded Trump’s decision as misguided and vowed to defend an accord they consider crucial to the future of the planet.
The Paris agreement commits signatory countries to keeping rising global temperatures “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and “endeavor to limit” them even more, to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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