The United States’ decision to pull out from the non-binding Paris agreement will not deter global efforts to combat climate change, the United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Erik Solheim said on Friday. He added that India and China were putting in efforts and showing strong leadership to combat the issue, reported PTI. “The US decision to leave Paris in no way brings an end to this unstoppable effort. China, India, the European Union and others are already showing strong leadership,” Solheim said in a statement.
Calling it a global challenge, Solheim praised the nations that have come together to protect the future generations. “We need more action, not less,” he said. “This is a global challenge. Every nation has a responsibility to act and to act now.” Soheim said a single political decision can’t derail the effort of individual states, cities, the private sector and citizens, who are showing incredible momentum on climate action. He said UNEP would happily work with anyone who wants to make a difference and asked all the parties to redouble their efforts.
He added that climate action should be seen as opportunity to change things rather than a burden. He said it will help “countries like Iraq and Somalia on the front line of extremism and terrorism.” Solheim added that a decreased dependence on fossil fuels would lead to robust economies.
A number of political and social groups condemned Trump’s decision to withdraw from the climate agreement. The United States has now joined Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations absent from the global deal.
Greenpeace India, the Indian branch of the non-profit NGO, said Trump’s irresponsible and short-sighted decision is a loss for the United States and will provide India an opportunity to provide global leadership on climate issue. “Donald Trump is out of touch with reality,” said Executive Director of Greenpeace India Ravi Chellam, according to PTI. “The vast majority of the world has already resolved and started to act on climate with the renewable energy industry growing exponentially. India and China, among the leading greenhouse gas emitters, have resolved and started to develop clean energy and a low carbon economy in a big way. This transition will continue with or without USA.”