NEW DELHI – India on Monday rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments that it had linked its accession to the Paris climate control accord to receiving foreign aid and said it was committed to protecting the environment on its own.
Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 agreement to cut emissions saying it undermined the U.S. economy, cost U.S. jobs, and put it at a disadvantage to other nations.
He also complained that China and India were getting favourable terms under the accord, saying New Delhi had made its participation contingent on receiving “billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid” from developed nations.
But Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said India was not in the Paris accord for money or because it had faced pressure from other countries.
“Anyone who says we have signed Paris because of the lure of money, I reject that as baseless. This is not the reality,” she told reporters. “Our signature is not out of greed or fear.”
India is the world’s third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. It has said it remained committed to carrying out its obligations under the accord despite the U.S. pullout.
Developing nations agreed the 2015 Paris deal after the rich set a goal of raising climate finance from $100 billion a year from 2020 to help the poor limit greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to more heat waves, floods, storms and rising seas.
Some countries such as Ethiopia said Trump’s decision would make things harder for the least developed nation, but there were no plans for anyone to quit the Paris pact.
Swaraj said India had a long tradition of respect for the environment. “Our commitment to the environment is 5,000 years old. We are a people who worship rivers, mountains, trees.”