United States President Donald Trump has once again criticised India and China for unfairly benefiting from the 2015 Paris climate accord. The US government had “knocked out the Paris Accord”, Trump told a gathering at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday.
The US President said that the "unfair" accord would have imposed "draconian financial and economic burdens" on the US, as it would have made Washington pay for nations which benefitted the most from the deal.
He targeted India and China, saying both these nations were benefiting most from the Paris deal, which was "unfair" to the US.
“We had to pay, because they [Paris deal signatories] considered them [Indian and China] a growing country,” Trump said. “They were a growing country. I said, ‘What are we? Are we allowed to grow too? They called India a developing nation. They called China a developing nation. But the United States, we are developed – we can pay.”
Trump had announced the withdrawal from the landmark climate accord in June, stating that it would have imposed "wildly unfair environmental standards on American businesses and workers".
He said the Paris deal would have cost his country trillions of dollars, killed jobs, hindered the oil, gas, coal and manufacturing industries. However, he had also said that he was "open to negotiate a better deal for the US or re-enter the accord on improved terms".
"We knocked out the Paris Climate Accord. Would have been a disaster. Would have been a disaster for our country," the US President said at Conservative Political Action Conference.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 23, 2018
"You know, basically, it (the Paris accord) 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," Trump said, expressing his displeasure with the pact which was agreed by nearly 200 nations over the period of years.
"So what it does is it makes us uncompetitive with other countries. I told them, it's not going to happen."
"And China, their agreement didn't kick in until 2030... Our agreement kicks in immediately. Russia, they're allowed to go back into the 1990s, which was not a clean environmental time," he said.
"The country knows what I`m doing... 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.
Earlier, the US President had also singled out India saying that "India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions of dollars in foreign aid".
Many scientists and environmentalists said the planet will reach more dangerous levels of warming sooner because of Trump's decision as America contributes hugely to carbon dioxide and global rising temperatures.
(With agency inputs)