Only India can save the Paris climate agreement

The US regression from climate action should not surprise the world. President Donald Trump has followed the footsteps of his former counterpart George W Bush by deciding to withdraw the US from yet another international treaty that commits parties to reduce carbon emissions in order to tackle global warming. US’s withdrawal alone is however not the matter of concern. A recent article published in Climate Central reveals how several developed economies, for example Australia and Russia, too are faltering on climate action. Under these circumstances, the world is now looking east to fill the leadership vacuum in climate governance and push for collective efforts to combat climate change.

Commentators feel that the US exit from the Paris Agreement has paved the way to global climate leadership for China and India. India and China are countries that have both displayed immense credentials, commitment and leadership potential by taking affirmative action in significantly reducing carbon emissions.

Particularly in the matter of climate governance, China has been seen making a shift from its insular foreign policy towards a more internationalist stance, in the recent times. The US’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has hastened China’s alliance with the European Union (EU) to lead the transition to a low-carbon economy. President Xi Jinping’s push for a $900 billion Belt and Road project to create markets for Chinese solar panels and wind turbines, its recent introduction of cap and trade policy, massive investments in renewable energy and cutting down on coal dependence are all evidence of Chinese aspiration for attaining influence on world stage.

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