Coal Powered India Won’t Leave Climate Deal If Trump Bails

(REUTERS/Charles Pl)

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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India’s prime minister said in Berlin Tuesday that his country would be willing to stay wed to the Paris climate agreement even if the Trump administration pulls out of the deal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that India would not backtrack on pledges the country made last year to help reduce the world’s greenhouse gas levels, a source with knowledge of the meeting told reporters.

Modi also suggested that the countries that signed the climate pact “do not have a right to spoil the environment for future generations … that is, morally speaking, a crime on our part.”

President Donald Trump is expected to decide this week on whether the U.S. will leave the Paris deal, which aims to reduce the greenhouse gasses that many scientists believe contribute to global warming.

India, which receives nearly 70 percent of its energy from coal production, received more than $500 million in funding for solar panels in 2016 as a sweetener for joining on the 190-member climate accord. It receives only 2 percent of its energy from solar power.

The country got several loans last year worth $1.5 billion from international financial institutions for rooftop solar power. India got another $750 million in rooftop solar loans from the World Bank — the country also accepted substantial assistance from Western countries before the deal that to $2.5 trillion in aid and grants over the next 15 years.

It is not clear what will happen to India’s subsidies and grants if the U.S. backs out of the agreement, as much of the financial heft required to keep the deal upright would come from the U.S.

Trump promised to “cancel” UN global warming payments during his presidential campaign. He also campaigned on withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, which the Obama administration joined in 2016.

The president proposed earlier this year eliminating nearly $1.6 billion in international programs aimed at promoting green energy and fighting global warming. The proposal also nixes funding for the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund, the financial mechanism tasked with keeping the deal afloat.

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