India for environment protection with or without Paris: Modi

St. Petersburg: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses at the plenary session of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF2017) in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 2, 2017. Also seen Russian President Vladimir Putin.

St Petersburg, June 2  In an oblique disapproval of the US decision to quit the Paris climate change accord, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he was not taking sides with countries on the issue as he was focussed on protection of the environment for future generations.

“It is not an issue whether I go this side or that side. The issue is about coming generations. The generations which are yet to be born. I will go in their favour,” Modi said at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in reply to a question about President Donald Trump’s announcement that the US was quiting the Paris agreement and which way he would go.

He recalled that in Berlin earlier this week, he had said, “Whether Paris or no Paris, our conviction is to protect environment. We have no right to take away what belongs to the future.”

Earlier in his address at the economic forum, Modi referred to the Atharva Veda written 5,000 years ago that is dedicated to nature and its protection.

“Our belief is exploitation of nature is a crime.”

Even the principle of “zero defect, zero effect” for manufacturing industries is to avoid an adverse effect on the environment, he said.

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