US President Donald Trump on Friday described the air in India, China and Russia as “filthy”, as he defended his decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, which, he said, would have made the United States a non-competitive nation.
“Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India. The air is filthy. I walked out of the Paris Accord as we had to take out trillions of dollars and we were treated very unfairly,” he said during the last presidential debate with Democratic White House challenger Joe Biden.
“I will not sacrifice millions of jobs… thousands of companies because of the Paris Accord. It is very unfair,” he said at the televised debate in which the two candidates avoided shaking hands due to safety risks.
The US President’s remarks drew angry reactions in India, with some Twitter users urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give him a strong response. However, opposition leaders like Kapil Sibal used the US President’s remarks to take a potshot at PM Modi, who has often addressed Trump as “friend”.
In 2017, Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, a global agreement in which his predecessor Barack Obama had played a key role. The accord aims to cap global warming “well below” two degrees Celsius.
Trump’s remarks come days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper visit New Delhi for talks on building the growing US-India partnership.
The US President has repeatedly blamed countries like India and China for not doing enough on climate change.
India is the fourth highest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, accounting for 7% of global emissions in 2017, according to the projection by the Global Carbon Project published in December 2018.
The top four emitters in 2017, which covered 58% of global emissions, were China (27%), the US (15%), the European Union (10%) and India (7%), it said.