Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement had come as “a shock to India and the international community.”
The U.S. would definitely have a re-think on the issue, he said, after inaugurating the two-day national conference on the capacity building of the State Disaster Response Force.
“The international community should get on board so that the environmental balance is not destroyed. The U.S. President’s recent statement on the Paris agreement sent out the message that the world community was not one and a country was concerned only about its own environment,” Mr. Singh said.
“It is to be seen in what circumstances the U.S. President made such a statement. For people like us [India] and the international community, this has come as a shock. I am sure the U.S. will have a re-think,” he said.
Announcing the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris agreement on June 1, Mr. Trump said India made its participation in the agreement “contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid.”
Mr. Singh said the States should raise their own disaster response funds to make the country “disaster-resilient.” He expressed concern over many States not having their own disaster response forces. Only 20 States and three Union Territories had raised their units. “I will be happy to see all of them having such units to make themselves and the country self-reliant in combating disasters.”
“The initiative for disaster-risk reduction should be taken by everyone... Whatever technology guidance and help is expected from the Centre, we will give it,” he said.
Mr. Singh painted a scenario in which multiple States suffered a disaster at the same time. Hence, all the States and governmental and non-governmental agencies should work together, he said.
NDRF Director-General R.K. Pachnanda said: “We have sensitised 50 lakh people to disasters.”