India, Defender of the West?

The media are downplaying the fact that Obama left India empty-handed on the chief object of his state visit: he wanted India to reach some kind of climate agreement like the phony one Obama made with China a few months ago. India refused. The Hindustan Times reports:

India’s resistance to accept a peak year for emissions was a prime reason why US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi failed to strike a climate deal along the lines of a US-China agreement on emission cuts.

The US wanted India to make specific commitments including a peak year for a new climate treaty to be signed at Paris later this year. But India refused as it feared it would have resulted in the world putting India in the same bracket as China on carbon emissions.

“Having a peaking year was not acceptable to us,” said an environment ministry official.

India did give Obama a modest rhetorical concession in the form of a “personal commitment to work together” with the U.S. to help reach a global climate agreement in Paris this summer.  But you can bet any agreement reached will exclude India from any real emission caps, or there will be no agreement. India’s new free-market oriented PM, Narendra Modi, rubbed it in on Obama by ordering increased coal production. It’s the environmental equivalent of building more homes on the West Bank while Vice President Biden comes calling.

Separately India has shown it won’t tolerate much environmental nonsense from Greenpeace and other environmental extremist groups. The Los Angeles Times reported recently about India’s “crackdown” on the extremist group:

The Indian government has launched a crackdown on Greenpeace and other U.S.-linked environmental groups after intelligence officials accused climate activists of harming the country’s economic security.

Authorities over the weekend barred a Greenpeace staff member from traveling to London to speak to British lawmakers about alleged legal and human rights violations in India by Essar, a British-registered energy company.

The government last year blocked Greenpeace from accessing foreign funds, and Indian media reported this month that authorities had imposed similar restrictions on four U.S.-based environmental advocacy organizations. . .

“They are acting as foreign propagandists and foreign agents.”

Soon after Modi took office in May, India’s intelligence agency, in a report leaked to the news media, said that advocacy campaigns by Western-funded nongovernmental organizations were “stalling development projects” and had reduced India’s annual economic growth by 2% to 3%. Greenpeace, it said, “is assessed to be posing a potential threat to national economic security.”

You might call the Western environmental groups “eco-imperialists,” but that little bit of truth-in-advertising might get them kicked of college campuses. In any case, I’m growing rather fond of India of late. (Don’t even get the Indians started on what they think of the Islamist threat from Pakistan. . .)

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