US presidential debate: Trump calls India, China air 'filthy'

US President Donald Trump during the final debate in Nashville on Oct 22, 2020. PHOTO: AFP
US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during the final debate in Nashville on Oct 22, 2020. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

NASHVILLE (AFP) - US President Donald Trump on Thursday (Oct 22) described the air in India and China as "filthy" as he denounced Democratic rival Joe Biden's plans to tackle climate change.

At their second and final presidential debate, Mr 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," Mr Trump said at the debate in Nashville.

Mr Trump charged that Mr Biden's climate plan was an "economic disaster" for oil states such as Texas and Oklahoma.

Mr Biden said that climate change is "an existential threat to humanity".

"We have a moral obligation to deal with it," he said.

"We're going to pass the point of no return within the next eight to 10 years," he added.

The planet has already warmed by around 1 deg C from pre-industrial levels, enough to boost the intensity of deadly heat waves, droughts and tropical storms.

Mr Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, which aims to cap global warming "well below" 2 deg C.

Mr Trump's remarks come days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper visit New Delhi for talks on building the growing US-India partnership.

At the first presidential debate, Mr Trump also spoke critically of India, questioning its coronavirus data amid criticism of Mr Trump's handling of the pandemic.

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