Trump climate deal: Modi vows to go beyond Paris accord

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) is greeted by French President Emmanuel Macron (R) on the last leg of his four-nation visit at the Elysee palace in Paris, France, June 3, 2017Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Narendra Modi (left) met Emmanuel Macron in Paris

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed his country will go "above and beyond" the 2015 Paris accord on combating climate change.

Speaking at a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, Mr Modi described the agreement as part of "our duty to protect Mother Earth".

Several global leaders have criticised President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the Paris accord.

Mr Trump said the deal would impoverish the US and cost American jobs.

The Paris agreement commits the US and 194 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures "well below" 2C above pre-industrial levels and "endeavour to limit" them even more, to 1.5C.

China and the European Union have restated their commitment to the agreement, while Mr Macron called Mr Trump's decision a "mistake both for the US and for our planet".

Media caption,

France's President Macron calls on the world to "make our planet great again"

Speaking after a meeting with Mr Macron, Mr Modi said France and India had "worked shoulder to shoulder" on the Paris accord.

"The Paris agreement is the common heritage of the world. It is a gift that this generation can give," Mr Modi said.

India is the world's fourth-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, after China, the US and the EU.

Media caption,

Trump: The world won't laugh any more at US

Explaining his decision to withdraw from the deal, Mr Trump said it would cost the US $3tn (£2.3tn) in lost GDP while rival economies like China and India were treated more favourably.

However, several US governors and mayors have vowed to respect the terms of the Paris deal despite the US pulling out.

What was agreed in Paris?

Climate change, or global warming, refers to the damaging effect of gases, or emissions, released from industry, transportation, agriculture and other areas into the atmosphere.

The Paris accord is meant to limit the global rise in temperature attributed to emissions. Only Syria and Nicaragua did not sign up.

Countries agreed to:

  • Keep global temperatures "well below" the level of 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and "endeavour to limit" them even more, to 1.5C
  • Limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100
  • Review each country's contribution to cutting emissions every five years so they scale up to the challenge
  • Enable rich countries to help poorer nations by providing "climate finance" to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy

Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies says the world's average temperature has risen by about 0.8C since 1880, two-thirds of that since 1975.

US think tank Climate Interactive predicts that if all nations fully achieve their Paris pledges, the average global surface temperature rise by 2100 will be 3.3C, or 3.6C without the US.