Reiterating his support towards climate protection, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday described the Paris climate agreement as a “shared legacy of the world” and that it will reap long-term benefits for posterity. “Paris Agreement is a shared legacy of the world. It will benefit the future generations as well,” PM Modi said while addressing a joint press event with newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace, the official residence of the President of France.
Prime Minister Modi’s comments came in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s announcement that his nation would be pulling out of the Paris climate change deal on curbing carbon emissions. Revealing his decision, the US President had argued that the agreement unfairly benefited countries like India and China. According to the UN climate deal, the US and other countries are required to keep rising global temperatures “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and “endeavour to limit” them to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Describing the Paris agreement as an “article of faith”, PM Modi said it reflected their duty towards protecting the Earth and natural resources. “We have natural resources because our previous generations protected these resources. We must do the same for our future,” Modi said. He had voiced similar views while addressing media persons at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia on Friday. Modi arrived in Paris earlier in the day on the last leg of his four-nation tour of Europe.
French President Macron echoed PM Modi’s commitment, insisting that his country remains committed to fighting climate change and would continue to do the same not only within the framework of Paris accord but also in actions they are implementing.
PM Modi also acknowledged that the menace of terrorism is one of the biggest challenges in front of humanity, while French President Macron assured that his country supports India in her fight against terrorism. France has been reeling under terror attacks over the last two years, which killed over 230 people. Modi said India and France enjoy deep-rooted ties and the two nations have been working together for a very long time, bilaterally and multilaterally.
Calling for a deeper cooperation between both the nations, the Prime Minister also said, “Be it trade and technology, innovation and investment, energy, education and enterprise, we want to give a boost to India-France ties.” Citing that several Indians fought in the first two World Wars for world peace, Modi also called for the improving the cultural relations between both the nations.
PM Modi also appreciated the positivity of President Macron towards the International Solar Alliance, while the French President confirmed that he will be travelling to India by end of the year and that they will convene a meeting of the world solar alliance.
The meeting assumed significance as France is India’s ninth largest investment partner. France is also a key partner in India’s development initiatives in areas like defence, space, nuclear and renewable energy, urban development and railways.
With inputs from agencies