International

Trump pulls US out of Paris climate pact, hits out at China, India

Mr. Trump had repeatedly expressed doubts about climate change, at times calling it a hoax to weaken U.S. industry

Mr. Trump had repeatedly expressed doubts about climate change, at times calling it a hoax to weaken U.S. industry  

"India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions of dollars in foreign aid," he said.

The Paris climate agreement gives undue advantage to India and China at the cost of the Unite States' interests, President Donald Trump said on Thursday, announcing America’s withdrawal from the pact. 

“China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement.  India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020.  Think of it:  India can double their coal production.  We’re supposed to get rid of ours,” the President said, adding that the agreement “is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the U.S.” 

According to Mr. Trump, the Paris agreement would lead to a redistribution of American wealth to other countries and transfer of American jobs abroad. His predecessor Barack Obama had argued that by promoting a global climate regime, the U.S would create wealth and jobs at home. He had showcased the Indian and Chinese endorsement of the Paris accord as a key diplomatic success of his presidency. 

Turning that argument on its head, Mr. Trump said the agreement was “very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.”  “For example, under the agreement, 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,” Mr. Trump said. 

 

Reiterating his campaign theme that America is being taken for a ride by all its partners, friends and foes, Mr. Trump said he would turn that around. “At what point does America get demeaned?  At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?   We want fair treatment for its citizens, and we want fair treatment for our taxpayers.  We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore.  And they won't be.  They won’t be,” he said. 

The announcement concluded intense internal debate in the Trump administration and ignoring protests from American closest allies in Europe and Canada. Anticipating American withdrawal, European leaders who met the President at the G-7 summit recently had urged him to reconsider his move. Other than China and India, Mr. Trump picked on European leaders also for pointed criticism. “Foreign leaders in Europe, Asia, and across the world should not have more to say with respect to the U.S. economy than our own citizens and their elected representatives,” he said, adding, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

 

“Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country,” the President said. Carbon reduction targets that American set under Paris commitment aimed to reduce emissions by 26-28% in a decade. America has stopped contributing to the Green Climate Fund set up under the Paris agreement to support developing countries meet their commitment. The Obama administration had committed $ 3 billion to the fund of which $1 billion has been transferred. 

Mr. Obama condemned the decision. “It was steady, principled American leadership on the world stage that made that achievement possible,” he said of the Paris agreement. “.… And what made that leadership and ambition possible was America’s private innovation and public investment in growing industries like wind and solar — industries that created some of the fastest new streams of good-paying jobs in recent years, and contributed to the longest streak of job creation in our history,” the former President said. 

“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” Mr. Obama said, adding: “I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 8:50:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-will-withdraw-from-paris-climate-deal-says-president-donald-trump/article18702249.ece

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