United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has said that the US did not need India, China or France telling them what to do about climate change, PTI reported on Monday. Haley made the comments with reference to US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change on Wednesday.
“I think the rest of the world would like to tell us how to manage our own environment and I think that anybody in America can tell you that we’re best to decide what America should do,” Indian-American Haley was quoted as saying by CBS News. “We don’t need India and France and China telling us what they think we should do.”
On the global reaction to Trump’s decision, Haley was dismissive. “They [other countries] should continue doing what’s in the best interest,” she said. “And if the Paris agreement was something that works for them, that they can achieve, they should do that.”
Haley claimed that the reason the US withdrew from the accord was because under its conditions, businesses could not be run. Calling the regulations “unattainable”, Haley said former US President Barack Obama did not approach the US Senate to clear the climate deal, “because he couldn’t”.
While acknowledging that there are “issues” with the environment, Haley said the US could not allow German Chancellor Angela Merkel to tell it to “worry about Africa”. Instead, she advised Merkel to “continue doing her part”.
Haley claimed that Trump was aware of climate change. “He is absolutely intent on making sure that we have clean air, clean water, that he makes sure that we’re doing everything we can to keep America’s moral compass in the world when it comes to the environment,” she said.
On Wednesday, Trump had called the Paris Agreement “unfair” while announcing his decision to pull the US out of it. “India makes its participation [in the climate agreement] contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries,” he had said. He also alleged that India was allowed to double its coal production by 2020 under the deal. Trump attacked China as well, claiming that the deal allowed it to increase its carbon emissions for the next 13 years.
After withdrawing from the Paris accord, the US joined a league of only two other nations – Syria and Nicaragua – who have not signed the agreement.
The US and China are the top two polluters in the world. Because of its pullout from the climate pact, the US will probably not achieve its target of reducing carbon emissions by 26% to 28% by 2025. Therefore, other countries will have to fill that gap by making additional emission cuts. Some countries might follow America’s lead and withdraw from the pact.
Reacting to the US decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India was committed to the Paris Agreement, reported PTI. “I would rather take the side of our future generations,” Modi said during an interactive session at St Petersburg International Economic Forum.