Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to go “above and beyond” the Paris Agreement on climate change, even as U.S. President Trump faces mounting criticism for his decision to pull out of the deal. Modi made the announcement on Saturday after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, an outspoken supporter of the 2015 agreement. Modi described the move as a natural step for the country, which creates about 4.1 percent of the world’s emissions. “For Indians, environmental protection is a profession of faith because we learn it in the vedas (ancient Hindu scriptures),” he said, describing the Paris deal as “part of the world's shared heritage.” While India had previously been reluctant to become a signatory to the deal, public concerns over the country’s air pollution have led to more talk of switching to renewable sources of energy. India has pledged not to immediately cut emissions like other countries, but to ramp up its use of green energy, according to Agence France-Presse. Modi’s announcement put Trump in the spotlight, as the U.S. president had singled India out when explaining his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement. Describing the accord as “very unfair at the highest level to the United States,” Trump complained Thursday that “India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020.” “Think of it. India can double their coal production. We're supposed to get rid of ours,” he said.
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