US pull-out will not impact our commitment to Paris deal: EU envoy to India

Asked about America's decision to leave the 2015 climate accord, the envoy said, "The decision by the US to pull out of the agreement was negative."
US pull-out will not impact our commitment to...
PTI New Delhi 09 Jun 2017, 06:42 PM IST

The decision by the US to pull out of the Paris accord was "negative" but it would "not impact" European Union's commitment to fulfil the climate deal, EU's top envoy said here today, while praising India's commitment to the agreement. 

"Climate change is a global challenge. We in good faith, the EU, the US under the previous (Barack Obama) administration, China, India and several other countries, subscribed to the Paris agreement. The way of thinking was that it would be our common interest to have this agreement and to implement it," Ambassador of the EU to India, Tomasz Kozlowski said. 

Asked about America's decision to leave the 2015 climate accord, he said, "The decision by the US to pull out of the agreement was negative." 

"But, it will not impact our commitment to fulfil the Paris agreement. Climate issues are global challenges. And, we, together with practically all the countries in the world signed an agreement. The withdrawal by the US was not a positive factor," he said. 

"But, we are happy that India has declared its commitment to the Paris agreement," he added. 

President Donald Trump had on June 2 declared that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, saying the "draconian" deal unfairly punished America but benefited countries like India and China, drawing strong condemnation from across the world. 

"It is time to exit the Paris Accord and time to pursue a new deal that protects the environment, our companies, our citizens, and our country," Trump had said while announcing the sweeping step that fulfils a campaign promise while acutely dampening global efforts to curb global warming. 

India, on its side, has said that it was committed to tackling climate change, irrespective of the stand taken by any other country. 

"We are committed to ensuring that we will do our best to address the issue related to climate change and global warming," Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan had said, hours after the US had announced its withdrawal. 

The Paris agreement commits the US and other countries to keep rising global temperatures "well below" 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and "endeavour to limit" them to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

India, under its climate action plans, has pledged to curb its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35 per cent from its 2005 level. 

In the plans submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), India had also vowed that 40 per cent of its total electricity needs would be obtained from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030. 

New Delhi also pledged to create an additional carbon sink -- which suck up and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere -- of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree covers by 2030.

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