The landmark Paris climate pact was a bad deal for the US as it "front-loaded" its costs while India and China "back-loaded" theirs, causing a contraction in the American economy, the Trump administration has said.
"What Paris represents is bad deal for this country. We front-loaded our costs. China and India back-loaded theirs.
That caused a contraction in our economy," Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was quoted as saying by Fox News yesterday.
Pruitt, however, called for continued engagement with the international community on the issue of climate change.
"Engagement internationally is very important. To demonstrate the leadership that we have shown on this issue with China and India and other nations is very important. Those discussions should ensue," he said.
He said that China and India have benefited from the Paris Agreement.
"When you look at what happened in Paris, at the Paris agreement and Paris accord, China and India weren't required to take any steps toward reduction of carbon di-oxide (CO2) until the year 2030," Pruitt said.
"That discussion, to think that China and India are more committed to the CO2 reduction in this country I think is quite false," Pruitt claimed.
According to the EPA administrator, the Trump administration has demonstrated its commitment to climate change through the steps it has taken.
"Because of the technology, we can burn coal in clean fashion. We shouldn't have this commitment by the US government to say that fossil fuels are bad. Renewables are good. The US EPA and the US government should not pick winners and losers. That's what happened in the last several years," he said.
Pruitt asserted that fuel diversity is very important. "We have shown leadership. We have made great progress with air quality since 1980. We made progress in the CO2 reduction side as well, at the same time, growing jobs. And so we have nothing to be apologetic about as a country. Neither does the President," he said.
He said there is a warming trend in the climate change and the human activities contribute to the change in some measure.
The 2015 Paris agreement's central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below 2 C above pre-industrial levels.
(With PTI inputs)