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Donald Trump names India, China to defend his policy on climate change

On June last year, Trump had announced to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change and renegotiate the deal that was agreed upon by over 190 countries during the previous Obama administration.

world Updated: Feb 24, 2018 21:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Washington
Donald Trump,Climate change,India
US President Donald Trump takes questions from to reporters before departing the White House to speak at CPAC in Washington, US, February 23, 2018.(Reuters Photo)

President Donald Trump cited China and India once again as the reason why he held the Paris Climate Accord unfair and pulled the US out of it, rhetorically mocking the notion that they were developing nations.

“They called India a ‘developing nation’. They called China a ‘developing nation’,” Trump said at an annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “But the United States, we’re developed -- we can pay.”

Tump was reiterating a misleading argument he had first made in days leading up to the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Accord, a point he repeated during a speech to announce the pullout, that India was demanding “billions and billions and billions” of dollars for its participation in the accord.

But Trump appears not to have given up on the accord completely, as he and his officials have indicated they are willing to return in a re-negotiated pact, which other countries, including India and China, have ruled out.

He said in the CPAC speech. “Other countries, big countries -- India and others -- we had to pay, because they considered them a growing country. They were a growing country. I said, ‘What are we?’ Are we allowed to grow too?”

About China, his grouse has been that it has been given a late emission mitigation target deadline than America — “you know, China, their agreement didn’t kick in until 2030. Right? Our agreement kicks in immediately.”

“Russia -- they’re allowed to go back into the 1990s, which was not a clean environmental time,” Trump said.

Read| US move to pull out of Paris climate pact could add 0.3 degrees of warming: UN

“We knocked out the Paris Climate Accord. It would have been a disaster. Would have been a disaster for our country,” Trump said.

Defending his decision Trump said, “You know, basically, it said, “You have a lot of oil and gas that we found” -- you know, technology has been amazing. And we found things that we never knew. But we have massive -- just about the top in the world -- we have massive energy reserves. We have coal. We have so much”.

“And basically, they were saying, “Don’t use it. You can’t use it. So what it does is, it makes us uncompetitive with other countries. It’s not going to happen, I told them. It’s not going to happen,” he added.

Read| Could use a little global warming, says Donald Trump as cold wave hits America

The President asked if people understood about the Paris Accord and said that his country is in favour of his decision.

“Because it sounds so good. It’s like some of the environmental regulations that I cut. They have the most beautiful titles. And sometimes, I’d say, “Look, I’m just going to close my eyes and sign this, because you know what? I’m going to get killed on this one. And I get so much thanks. The country knows what I’m doing,” he said.

“We couldn’t build. We couldn’t farm. If you had a puddle on your land, they called it a lake for the purposes of environmental. I mean, it’s crazy. It’s crazy,” Trump said. (With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Feb 24, 2018 08:58 IST