A major Indian corporation approved a $4 billion plan for what will be Australia’s biggest coal mine just one day after a top Indian minister said the country joined the Paris climate accord “due to our commitment to protecting the environment.”
Adani Corporation gave final approval to build “what would be Australia’s biggest coal mine,” Reuters reported Tuesday. Adani is also hopeful they will get a $900 million loan from the government — the same government backing the Paris accord.
Adani’s comments came the same day as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj rebuffed criticism from President Donald Trump that India only joined the Paris agreement because they were promised “billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from other nations.”
“What US President Trump has said is not the reality,” Swaraj said Monday, according to The Indian Express.
“India signed the Paris climate pact, not because of pressure from any country or due to lure of money,” Swaraj said. “Our signature in the pact was not because of greed, it was not because of fear. We signed it due to our commitment to protecting the environment.”
Trump announced Thursday he would make good on his campaign promise to withdraw the u.S. from the Paris accord, which the Obama administration joined in 2016. Trump said the agreement favored U.S. competitors, like India.
India joined the Paris agreement in 2016 but did not pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions. India instead set a weak goal of reducing emissions per dollar of economic output and to use more green energy.
India does call for international assistance to finance its Paris goal. India says “a preliminary estimate suggests that at least USD 2.5 trillion (at 2014-15 prices) will be required for meeting India’s climate change actions between now and 2030.”
“India will continue to be part of it irrespective of whether the US remains in it or not,” Swaraj told reporters.
“This commitment is 5,000 years old. We worship rivers, trees, and mountains. This is India’s ethos, it is our cultural heritage. If someone says we signed the pact due to lure of money and pressure from someone, it is wrong. I reject both these allegations,” she said.
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