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STATEMENT: Trump-Modi Climate Omission “Signifies Discord, not Apathy”

WASHINGTON (June 26, 2017)— Today India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump held a joint press conference focused on strengthening bilateral cooperation around security, trade and economic growth.

Following is a statement by Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President, World Resources Institute:

“Prime Minister Modi and President Trump found some common ground on international security and economic growth. But tackling climate change, which is essential to achieving these goals, was noticeably absent. This omission signifies discord, not apathy, on climate, and lies in stark contrast to the productive U.S.-India talks of recent years. While it wasn’t mentioned today, the U.S. and India recently announced a joint clean energy project on a smart grid research – an indication of the important role clean energy continues to play in the U.S.-India relationship.

“There were many incentives for the leaders to focus on mutually agreeable topics at this meeting, not least the $115 billion in annual bilateral trade. There are even stronger incentives, national self-interest above all, for India to continue to act on climate change. The facts are that India has a draft National Electricity Plan that does not require building new coal plants until 2027, and is concertedly ramping up its renewable energy capacity in the meantime. In fiscal year 2017 alone, India added 5.5 GW of new wind and an additional 5.5 GW of new solar capacity.

“Trump and Modi are in pursuit of enhanced international security and economic growth, but the reality is that vulnerability to climate impacts foments political instability, and countries cannot make lasting development gains without acting on climate change. Diplomatic pragmatism may have prevailed today, but next week’s G20 summit offers a prime opportunity for like-minded leaders to put climate change back at the heart of the global agenda.”

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