- "Walked out of Paris Accord as we were treeted unfairly": Donald Trump
- He has repeatedly blamed India for not doing enough on climate change
- Trump denounced Joe Biden's plans to tackle climate change
US President Donald Trump referred to what he called the "filthy air" in India, China and Russia as he defended his decision to pull out of the Paris accord and denounced Democrat rival Joe Biden's plans to tackle climate change in a presidential debate today.
"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 second and final debate ahead of the November 3 US polls.
"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.
Joe Biden retorted that climate change is "an existential threat to humanity. We have a moral obligation to deal with it."
"We're going to pass the point of no return within the next eight to 10 years," he said.
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.
This is the second time that Trump has made a critical reference to India during a debate. At the first presidential debate, Trump questioned India's coronavirus data. "When you talk about numbers you don't know how many people died in China, you don't know how many people died in Russia, you don't know how many people died in India. They don't exactly give you a straight count," he had said.
The US Presidents remarks drew sharp reactions in India, with some urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give a strong rebuttal to Trump's statements. Opposition leaders like Congress's Kapil Sibal seized the comments to take a swipe at PM Modi's well-known bonhomie with President Trump.
Trump : Fruits of Friendship- Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) October 23, 2020
1) Questions India's COVID death toll
2) Says India sends dirt up into the air
India “ air is filthy “
3) Called India “ tariff king “
The result of “Howdy Modi “ !
“Look at India, it's filthy!” I hope you're listening @narendramodi. “Ab ki bar Trump sarkar.”- Aatish Taseer (@AatishTaseer) October 23, 2020
Political analyst Tehseen Poonawalla urged PM Modi to give a strong response to the US President. "Remember how our IRON LADY Martyr Indira Gandhi ji took on the US and showed Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon their place," he tweeted.
As an individual, I use my OWN resources in my fights for the rights of my fellow citizens, something that I wish, political parties with resources would do, instead of individuals like me.Tehseen Poonawalla Official (@tehseenp) August 14, 2019
I don't speak or associate myself with any politcal organisation. I use my OWN reserves! pic.twitter.com/Li98FppPPH
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi, while expressing regret over the "unfortunate comments" made by the US leader, reminded him that India stands committed to climate change goals.
What an unfortunate comment to make about India, @realDonaldTrump .- Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) October 23, 2020
Reminder: India stands committed to climate change goals, US chose to withdraw, much against the wishes of many Americans. Thank you.
In 2017, Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, a global agreement in which President Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had played a key role. The Paris climate accord aims to cap global warming "well below" two degrees Celsius.
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 per cent 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 per cent of global emissions, were China (27 per cent), the US (15 per cent), the European Union (10 per cent) and India (7 per cent), it said.
With inputs from agencies