At their second and final presidential debate, Trump renewed his criticism that action on climate change was unfair to the United States.
“Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia, look at India — it’s filthy. The air is filthy,” Trump said at the debate in Nashville.
That was the only mention of India during a debate that mostly stayed clear of foreign policy and strategic interests.
Trump’s remarks come days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper visit New Delhi for talks on building the growing US-India partnership.
Trump charged that Biden’s climate plan was an “economic disaster” for oil states such as Texas and Oklahoma.
Biden said that climate change is “an existential threat to humanity. We have a moral obligation to deal with it.”
“We’re going to pass the point of no return within the next eight to 10 years,” he said.
The planet has already warmed by around one degree Celsius (34 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels, enough to boost the intensity of deadly heat waves, droughts and tropical storms.
In 2017, Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, saying the international deal to keep global temperatures rises below 2 degree Celsius was disadvantageous to US workers.
He has continuously argued that countries like China and India are benefiting the most from the Paris agreement.
Speaking to his cheering supporters at an elections rally in the key battleground State of North Carolina last week, Trump had blamed countries like China, Russia and India for adding to the global air pollution.
“We have the best environmental numbers, ozone numbers, and so many other numbers. In the meantime, China, Russia, India all these countries they’re spewing stuff into the air,” he alleged during the rally.
China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter followed by the US, India and the EU.
Watch US Presidential debate 2020: Donald Trump calls air in China, Russia and India as ‘filthy’