The US is historically the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and a major current emitter. Without its active and ambitious contribution, any action to combat climate change will be insufficient by a huge margin,“ says climate change expert.
New Delhi: Indian environmentalists are not surprised by the US president’s withdrawal from the Paris deal and the fact that it could severely hobble efforts to cut emissions and adopt renewable energy world over.
What’s enraged them is Donald Trump’s bid to justify the exit of the world’s second-largest emitter by flagging, erroneously, India’s demand for funds for its transition to clean energy.
The US, under Trump’s leadership, is attempting to hide behind its inaction they said. This, at a time when developing nations India and China are moving at a fast clip towards renewable energy by tapping solar and wind power in a big way .
The US move could spell a `death blow’ to the Paris agreement, it is felt. Centre for Science and Environment’s Sunita Narain said that meeting the objectives of the Paris agreement has become an uphill task after Trump’s decision. “Trump has sounded the death knell for the Paris accord“. “The US is historically the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and a major current emitter. Without its active and ambitious contribution, any action to combat climate change will be insufficient by a huge margin,“ says Chandra Bhushan, climate change expert at CSE.
He believes that even if other countries raise their targets, they’d not be able to fill the void left by the US. “It is not sufficient to shift the burden of addressing climate change to other countries -including China and India.“ But others are confident that positive trends in the decline of prices of renewable energy will continue to drive global action.
“India, whose citizens consume less than a tenth the electricity an average American does, is already turning its economy toward clean energy ,“ said Navroz K Dubash, senior fellow at Centre for Policy Research.Noting that the Trump administration `fundamentally misunderstands’ the changes sweeping the global energy economy , Dubash said, “Trump is hiding behind India’s poor who, meanwhile, are already making the transition to clean energy that Trump scorns as unviable.“
Ajay Mathur at TERI said, “Absence of the US leadership and financial support in implementing the deal could delay actions to cut emissions and adapt to climate change.”
Source : The Economic Times