Congress supporters find a reason to criticize Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the US President Donald Trump in his presidential debate touched upon climate change issue and said “Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India. The air is filthy.”
On social media, the usual suspects are taunting PM Modi saying that while the Indian government rolled out all the extravaganza through Howdy, Modi and Namaste Trump, this is what India is getting back from the US. The critics gleefully ask – what does PM Modi do now?
But what this set of people are ignoring is that it is not the first time that Donald Trump is levelling such accusations on others, and India under the leadership of Narendra Modi has already set the record straight in this climate change debate.
Climate Justice – India’s Factual Position Already Made
It should be noted that even though the countries like the US walked out of Paris Climate Agreement in 2017, India went ahead and underscored its commitment.
Donald Trump’s claim itself is misleading and false since he is quoting absolute numbers in carbon emission. But as any sensible person would agree, one can’t measure the country with 32 crore population with the country of 130 crore population. Here comes the concept of per capita carbon emission.
As this CNBC report in 2019 reported, “the United States is the highest producer of greenhouse gases when measured on a per capita basis. Overall, China is the world’s largest producer.” The figures from World Bank also tell the same story.
Without resorting to any blame game, India has made its official stance clear in COP 23 at Bonn, by stating that, “though India’s per capita emissions are only one-third of global average and its contribution to global stock of carbon dioxide is less than 3%, India has still moved ahead with implementation of path-breaking initiatives”.
Even in the Lok Sabha replies, this government has not hesitated in stating the fact that the United States of America (USA) is the second largest Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitter presently. However, if cumulative historical emission is considered, USA would be largest GHG emitter.
Beyond this factual position, India’s effort in addressing the climate change challenges is already well-noticed at global sphere. International Solar Alliance took shape by India’s special effort. India is already working on 175 GW Renewable energy push. Its massive effort to reduce emission is evident in programmes like Ujjwala and UJALA.
So, even before the events like Howdy, Modi and Namaste Trump, India under the leadership of Narendra Modi minced no words in stating the fact to the global community, even if the US leadership may find it difficult to digest.
There is no denying of the fact that many Indian cities need improvement in air quality, which is a separate debate altogether. But to use Donald Trump’s outburst that came out of domestic political compulsions to mock the India – America bonhomie nurtured by two leaders of the respective country doesn’t make any sense as India’s official stance on climate change is clear and Modi’s administration made no appeasement to the US administration in this regard.