Green bodies today said the issue of climate change should have figured more prominently in the joint statement after the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump in Washington.
While the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) noted that India and the US have divergent views on the issue, Greenpeace India advocated that the government should not waste time trying to convince “climate deniers”.
Greenpeace India also pointed out that after pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, Trump had consciously isolated himself from the rest of the world and Modi not “broaching” the subject indicates that the world will move on without the US.
The joint statement, issued after Modi-Trump talks yesterday, said the leaders called for a “rational” approach that balances environment and climate policy, global economic development, and energy security needs.
Ahead of Modis visit, Trump had announced his countrys decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and singled out India and China as two major polluters that would gain a financial advantage over the US under the agreement.
Rejecting strongly Trumps contention, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said “India did not sign the Paris climate deal under pressure or greed for money” but out of its commitment towards environment.
The Paris climate deal within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in 2015 by 194 countries and ratified by 143 and aims to hold the increase in average global temperature to below 2 degrees above pre-industrial level by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Ravi Chellam, Executive Director, Greenpeace India termed the Paris accord as a “unique” as it is a collective agreement of almost all nations and the Trump administration has made it very clear where they stand on it when they pulled out of it.
“We appreciate India showing leadership by agreeing to go above and beyond our commitments. We should focus on moving ahead on our commitment and not waste time trying to convince climate deniers…With or without the US Federal Government the world will go ahead and do its best to keep global warming below 1.5°C,” said Chellam.
The Greenpeace also maintained that by not broaching the subject of climate change, the Prime Minister clearly indicated that the world will move on without the US.”
Vijeta Rattani, climate analyst at the CSE said both US and India have divergent approaches to climate change and while India is making significant achievements in climate change issue, US has proved that it is not going to address climate change in a “positive manner”.
“The two leaders have kept silence on climate change issue. Till the point, Trump came to power, both US and Indian leaders always had (the issue of) climate change on the table. This development of omitting climate change is a stark contrast to that,” Rattani told PTI.
“Donald Trump had clearly and consciously isolated himself from the rest of the world giving up its global leadership position.
Recently while addressing the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Modi had said that India is committed to protecting the climate, irrespective the Paris agreement.
Avoiding a direct reference to the US withdrawing from the international deal, Modi had said India has traditionally been respecting the nature and desisted from exploiting it.
India has so far taken several initiatives to rev up the renewable energy sector to achieve the target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.
The Indian governments initiative to form the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to support clean energy projects in the member countries has seen over 120 countries sign up so far.