Donald Trump denounced Democratic rival Joe Biden's plans to tackle climate change. (AFP)
US President Donald Trump referred to what he called the "filthy air" in India, China and Russia as he defended his decision to pull out of the Paris accord and denounced Democrat rival Joe Biden's plans to tackle climate change in a presidential debate today.
"Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India. The air is filthy. I walked out of the Paris Accord as we had to take out trillions of dollars and we were treated very unfairly," he said during the second and final debate ahead of the November 3 US polls.
"I will not sacrifice millions of jobs... thousands of companies because of the Paris Accord. It is very unfair," he said at the televised debate in which the two candidates avoided shaking hands due to safety risks.
Joe Biden retorted 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.
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.
This is the second time that Trump has made a critical reference to India during a debate. At the first presidential debate, Trump questioned India's coronavirus data. "When you talk about numbers you don't know how many people died in China, you don't know how many people died in Russia, you don't know how many people died in India. They don't exactly give you a straight count," he had said.
US President Donald Trump today described the air in India, China and Russia as "filthy" as he defended his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, which, he said, would have made America a non-competitive nation.