Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed after meeting French President Emmanuel Macronon Saturday to “continue working above and beyond” the Paris Agreement on climate change, two days after Donald Trump had announced America’s exit from the deal.
Saying that the accord represented “sanjhi virasat” (shared heritage) of the whole world, Modi said India believed protection of the environment is an article of faith and part of an ancient tradition that respects nature. “It is our duty to give a gift to the next generation,” he said, in repudiation of Trump’s rant against India for allegedly seeking billions and billions of dollars to sign the deal.
Arriving at the presidential Elysee Palace, Modi hugged 39-year-old Macron, in scenes contrasting with Macron’s clenched-jawed, white-knuckle handshake with Trump in Brussels last week. An enthusiastic Modi said the French centrist’s election had “encouraged the whole world”.
The PM said protecting “mother Earth” was part of Indian culture. “For Indians, environmental protection is a profession of faith because we learn it in the vedas,” he said.