Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed after meeting French President Emmanuel Macron today to go “above and beyond” the Paris Agreement on climate change, after the US said it would quit the deal. Speaking two days after US President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw from the deal on curbing carbon emissions, PM Modi said it was “part of the world’s shared heritage” and that India would “continue working…above and beyond the Paris accord”.
The agreement signed by 195 countries in the French capital in 2015 “can protect future generations and give new hope,” the prime minister said. However, PM Modi avoided direct criticism of Donald Trump’s move. President Macron said that during two hours of the talks that encompassed trade, defense and the anti-terror fight, PM Modi and he had “mainly discussed our commitment to the climate”.
“I want to restate here France’s full commitment to the fight against climate warming,” said the president, who reacted to Trump’s Thursday announcement with a memorable call to “make the planet great again” – a play on President Trump’s pledge to “make America great again” that has been shared by tens of thousands of Twitter users.
Mr Macron said he would visit India, the world’s third-largest carbon emitter, by the end of the year for an international summit on solar power — an area on which France plans closer cooperation with the Asian power. The Frenchman has led Europe’s defense of the Paris accord in the face of Mr Trump’s climate skepticism. As justification for his move, Donald Trump had accused China and India of benefiting from the deal at the expense of the US.
PM Modi said protecting “mother Earth” was part of Indian culture. Arriving at the presidential palace, PM Modi, 66, hugged 39-year-old President Macron, in scenes contrasting with Mr Macron’s white-knuckle handshake with US President Donald Trump last week. On Friday, India said it was committed to the Paris climate accord irrespective of the position of other nations.
“As far as the Paris accord is concerned… our government is committed irrespective of the stand of anyone, anywhere in the world,” Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan had told reporters.