Sushma Swaraj reaffirms India's commitment to Paris climate accord

The summit was presided by French President Emmanuel Macron.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Sep 20, 2017, 17:51 PM IST
Sushma Swaraj reaffirms India's commitment to Paris climate accord

New Delhi: Calling the Paris climate accord 'a hoax created by China', POTUS Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement in June this year.

Moreover, Trump turned the tables on India claiming that the latter signed the Paris climate deal to get “billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid”, which earned him numerous criticisms.

Today, India reaffirmed its commitment to the landmark Paris climate change agreement, saying it is willing to "work above and beyond" the pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaking at a UN 'Leadership Summit on Environment Pact', External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that India had been at the forefront of the debate on environment and development.

Her remarks come amid uncertainty over the US role in the deal after the White House recently issued a statement over a misunderstanding, saying that its decision to withdraw is firm.

India, which is the world's third largest carbon polluter, along with more than 190 nations reached a pact in December 2015 with an aim to prevent an increase in the global average temperature and keep it well below 2 degrees Celsius. The deal, which replaced the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, was ratified last October.

Participating in the UN meet hosted by Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Swaraj said India was willing to work "above and beyond" the Paris agreement.

"Understanding our responsibility towards planet Earth," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

The summit was presided by French President Emmanuel Macron.

India takes the climate change issue very seriously, Kumar said.

"We also mentioned that Indian and France are working together on international Solar Alliance," he said.

During the day, Swaraj had a series of bilateral meetings with leaders from Mexico, Norway and Belgium wherein focus was primarily on bilateral relations.

She also called on Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.

"There were some discussions on the possibility of a high-level visit from Belgium to India later this year," Kumar said.

Later in the evening, Swaraj attended a reception hosted by the British Prime Minister Theresa May for the Commonwealth Heads of Government delegations.

Swaraj is scheduled to hold meetings with her counterparts from San Marino, Brazil, Morocco, Moldova and call on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

She is also scheduled to participate in several multilateral meetings including that of the G-4 (Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation foreign ministers.

(With PTI inputs)