Haley said the US was conscious of its role in the world and would do what it takes to bring down the threat of global warming. Photograph: (Reuters)
There are rumblings in the US and India following President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the landmark climate change agreement last week.
While India dismissed claims made by Trump that they would receive "billions, billions and billions" of dollars by signing the Paris Climate Accord, Washington categorically asked New Delhi to not meddle in their domestic affairs.
India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj used a press conference in New Delhi to repudiate Trump's allegations.
"To say we did it (sign the Accord) for money, I totally reject that.
"We are committed to the environment and this commitment is 5,000 years old. We worship nature. It is in Indian ethos," she said, before concluding that she "clearly dismissed" Trump's accusation.
Over in Washington, US' ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, adopted an equally tough stance against India in a videotaped interview with CBS News.
Clearly irked by India extending its cooperation with France over the climate change issue, Haley said: "I think the rest of the world would like to tell us how to manage our own environment and I think that anybody in America can tell you that we’re best to decide what America should do. We don’t need India and France and China telling us what they think we should do."
Haley said the US was conscious of its role in the world and would do what it takes to bring down the threat of global warming.
The top US diplomat also downplayed concerns that the Trump administration did not believe in climate change.
“He believes that climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of that equation. He is absolutely intent on making sure that we have clean air, clean water, that he makes sure that we’re doing everything we can to keep America’s moral compass in the world when it comes to the environment,” she said.
Watch Nikki Haley's interview here:
Trump's decision has left the United States virtually isolated on the world stage, and his insistence that he will seek to "renegotiate" the international accord has done little to ease a wave of bitter condemnation.
Against that backdrop, a string of administration officials went on the offensive Friday to justify the Republican president's decision to abandon the 195-nation Paris deal.
Trump himself ignored a question about climate change when asked by journalists during an unrelated event Friday, although he did joke that Thursday's decision had proven "controversial".
Unlike other signatories to the Paris agreement, India has not agreed to cap or reduce its emissions outright but instead to greatly increase its use of green energy.
This means India's emissions will continue to grow -- but at a slower rate.
India, an energy-hungry giant of 1.25 billion people, has long insisted it needs coal to lessen crippling blackouts and electrify its many regions without access to reliable power.
(WION with inputs from agencies)