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On World Environment Day, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the need to preserve nature and nurturing the planet.

His emphasis on the preservation of the environment contrasts sharply with the recent stance of U.S President Donald Trump who has recently pulled out of the historic Paris Accord.

The increasing isolation of the United States has opened new doors for those previously confined to specific global roles. By indicating his commitment to the environment, Modi may be able to offset his unsavory right-wing reputation on the international stage.

Following Trump’s pullout, Modi reiterated India’s commitment to the Paris Accord stating “Paris Agreement is a shared legacy of the world. It will benefit the future generations as well.”

He termed the Paris agreement as an “article of faith”, adding, “We have natural resources because our previous generations protected these resources. We must do the same for our future.”

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In a tweet, he acknowledged those who were working to protect the environment.

This sudden emphasis on the environment marks Modi’s attempt to capture a fraction of the void left by the U.S exit as a leader of world globalization.

Trump’s regressive foreign policy has changed the geopolitical landscape of the world, where during Obama’s tenure, America endeavored for a multilateral world order by forging strong ties with its European Allies and curtailed Russian expansionist designs. The world order post-Trump is entirely inverted.

The increasing isolation of the United States has opened new doors for those previously confined to specific global roles. By indicating his commitment to the environment, Modi may be able to offset his unsavory right-wing reputation on the international stage. He has highlighted a significant difference between himself and his U.S counterpart, signaling to the world his superior charm when compared to Trump.

In his May 28 Mann ki Baat address to the nation, Modi said June 5 is a special day as it is celebrated as World Environment Day worldwide. He stated, “This year the United Nations have chosen the theme ‘Connecting People to Nature’. In other words, we may say “back to basics”. And what’s the meaning of connecting with nature? In my view, it means getting connected with one’s own self. Connecting with nature means nurturing a better planet. And, who can explain this in a better way than Mahatma Gandhi? Mahatma Gandhi often used to say, “One must care about a world one will not see”. This means that it is our duty to be concerned about the world which we shall not see and to care for that.”

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As part of the Paris agreement, richer countries are supposed to send $100 billion a year in aid by 2020 to the poorer countries. And that amount is set to increase over time. There are many eyeing this potential goldmine of foreign funds, foremost amongst them appears to be Prime Minister Modi.

Modi said that June 5 should not only be a global campaign but it should also become one’s individual campaign. “Now on, kindly make it a point to notice that whenever you come in contact with a natural condition, a new spirit emerges from within you. So, the global campaign of connecting with nature on 5th June should become our individual campaign as well. And we are reaping the benefits of the efforts made by our ancestors to save the environment. And if we shall protect the environment, our future generations will reap the benefits,” the Indian PM said.

There is also the question of aid promised in the Paris Accord.

The treaty states that underdeveloped states would be given funds from wealthier nations in order for them to enact eco-friendly measures as prescribed in the treaty.

As part of the Paris agreement, richer countries are supposed to send $100 billion a year in aid by 2020 to the poorer countries. And that amount is set to increase over time. There are many eyeing this potential goldmine of foreign funds, foremost amongst them appears to be Prime Minister Modi.

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