“The focus remained on whether Paris put us at a disadvantage, and in fact, it did, put us at an economic disadvantage”, Pruitt said when asked whether President Donald Trump believes climate change is real and a threat to the U.S.
Trump, for his part, insisted while announcing his plans to withdraw from the agreement that he was elected “to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris”, seemingly ignoring or forgetting that the deal was an worldwide one, and had nothing exclusively to do with Paris beyond that being where it was signed. While devastating to climate activists and to the spirit of global cooperation in general, this move doesn’t have to stop the rest of the world-including India-from moving forward on climate goals. But as the Times of India noted Friday, total foreign aid to India amounted to just $3.1 billion in 2015, the year the accord was inked, with USA aid to the country weighing in at around $100 million. Just two degrees of warming above pre-industrial conditions is considered a risky level of climate change, so scientists would consider more than half that amount to be a meaningful temperature reduction. That study was based on a scenario in which the United States would cut 26 percent to 28 percent of emissions by 2025, and did not factor in the possible benefits of battling climate change.
India’s environment minister Friday said his country is committed to the Paris climate accord irrespective of the position of other nations, after the USA announced plans to pull out of the global pact. “The same nations asking us to stay in the agreement are the countries that have collectively cost America trillions of dollars through tough trade practices and in many cases lax contributions to our critical military alliance”, he added.
“New York, California, and Washington, representing over one-fifth of USA gross domestic product, are committed to achieving the US goal of reducing emissions 26-28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan“, New York Gov. The European Union and China have already said that in the absence of the USA they will unite to take a leading role in fighting climate change.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Friday disagreed with Trump’s assertion that his decision was a good move for the American economy.
In 2015, the United States, produced more than double the carbon dioxide emissions of China, and eight times as much as India. China now has the opportunity to fill this role as well. It will also help fulfil the Paris agreement reporting requirements so that the world can track the United States’ progress. These agreements are still in place, though they may be up for discussion during Modi’s visit to the White House later this month.
The president of the European Council says the EU and China are convinced that the US decision is a “big mistake”. Mr Trump’s vision may not extend to the long term, but it is unlikely that his divided country will back him in letting the world down.