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India reiterates commitment to Paris accord

A woman displays a placard during a demonstrationo in New York on June 1, 2017, to protest US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the 195-nation Paris climate accord deal.

A woman displays a placard during a demonstrationo in New York on June 1, 2017, to protest US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the 195-nation Paris climate accord deal.   | Photo Credit: AFP

India’s environment organisations blast Trump’s Paris deal decision

Even as environmental organisations in India lambasted U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 195-nation Paris agreement, India reiterated its commitment to the accord.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, wrapping up his Russia visit, on Friday reaffirmed India’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions under the Paris pact, as he invited global businesses to invest in the world’s fastest growing economy, saying “sky is the limit” for them. Some days ago, Mr. Modi had said in Germany that failing to act on climate change would be “morally criminal.”

“As far as the Paris accord is concerned, our government is committed irrespective of the stand of anyone and anywhere in the world… PM Modi provided leadership at the climate summit [in 2015],” Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan told reporters in Agartala.

Analysts said the U.S. decision would impede ambitious, global initiatives to curb global warming and was a major setback but India’s plans to source a large part of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources in the coming decades were unlikely to be immediately affected.

“With the U.S. president’s latest assault on the global fight against climate change, meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement will become an uphill task. Trump has sounded the death knell for the Agreement,” Sunita Narain, director general of the New Delhi-based non-governmental organisation, Centre for Science and Environment, said in a statement.

The objective of the Paris Agreement is to prevent an increase in the global average temperature, and keep it well below 2°C. The Agreement, considered a landmark move forward, was adopted on December 12, 2015 by 195 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), replacing its predecessor Kyoto Protocol. The Agreement was finally ratified on November 4, 2016.

 

‘Undue advantage’

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

“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.

Second largest polluter

“The U.S. is not only the largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, but also one the major current emitters. Without the active and ambitious contribution from the U.S., any action to combat climate change under the Paris Agreement will be insufficient by a huge margin,” said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, CSE:

 

The U.S. is responsible for 21% of the current carbon stock in the atmosphere. It is currently the second largest polluter in the world, and has the highest per capita emissions.

Under its climate action plan, the U.S. had pledged to reduce its emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. On the 1990 baseline, the U.S. will cut emissions by 13-15% by 2025 and 23-27% by 2030. In comparison, the EU-28 will reduce 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

In its federal budget, the U.S. has announced that there will be no further funding to IPCC and UNFCCC. It has also vowed not to fulfill its support commitment of $2 billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

This is not the first time that U.S. is opting out of an international climate agreement. It pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol saying that emerging economies do not have quantified emission targets.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 11:07:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indias-environment-organisations-blast-trumps-paris-deal-decision/article18705349.ece

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