India joins China, Russia to nudge US to reverse decision on Paris Accord


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Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with American President Donald Trump; India joined China, Russia, South Africa, and Brazil to subtly nudge the United States to reverse its decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.

New Delhi joined other members of the BRICS (a bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) asked the “developed countries” to fulfil the commitments they had made while signing the Paris climate change agreement.

The foreign ministers of the five BRICS nations met in Beijing on Sunday and Monday and noted with satisfaction that the Paris Agreement on climate change had come into force on November 4 last year. The ministers urged “all countries to implement the Paris Agreement under the principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change including the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities”, according to a note released by the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi on Monday.

The BRICS foreign ministers’ call for the implementation of the Paris Agreement came just a couple of weeks after Trump announced the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement – a United Nations accord adopted by 195 countries at the COP21 climate conference in the capital of France in December 2015. Trump alleged that the accord was unduly biased in favour of China and India.

Without directly referring to the US, the BRICS foreign ministers also called upon the “developed countries” to “fulfil their commitment (made in Paris Accord) to provide necessary financing, technology transfer and capacity building support to developing countries”.

The American President alleged that the accord had allowed China to increase its emission for the next 13 years, but did not give any such leeway to the US. He also alleged that India had made its participation in the agreement “contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries”.

New Delhi rejected the allegations, which cast a shadow on the preparations for Modi’s forthcoming visit to the US for his first meeting with Trump in White House on June 26. Prime Minister, himself, recalled India’s millennia-old commitment to the environment and re-affirmed New Delhi’s commitment to the accord. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj dismissed American President’s accusations, while Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed shock over his remarks and hoped that the US would rethink its decision to withdraw from the agreement.

V K Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, represented India at the meeting of the BRICS Foreign Ministers. With China being the Chair of BRICS for 2017, Foreign Minister of the communist nation, Wang Yi, presided over the meeting. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Brazil’s Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes and South Africa’s Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane attended the meeting.

Beijing will host this year’s BRICS summit at Xiamen on the south-eastern coast of China in September.

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