Promising an “uncompromising commitment” to combating climate change, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after meeting President Barack Obama on Monday that the US should help India and the developing world make the transition to clean and renewable energy with money and access to technology.
Climate change was the main focus of the third Obama-Modi bilateral meeting in a year, with just two months to go for Conference on Protocol 21, the climate change meeting in Paris.
“Much of our discussion today focused on the upcoming climate conference in Paris,” Obama said after the meeting.
“We agree that this is a critical issue for the world, and all of us have responsibilities. We are encouraged by the aggressive nature of.Modi’s commitment to clean energy,” he added.
“What I said is that I really believe that India’s leadership at this conference will set the tone not just for today but for decades to come,” Obama said.
India is the only big economy that has not yet submitted its emission targets ahead of the conference. It has pushed back deadlines repeatedly and is expected to submit them on October 2, seeking to use the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti to project moral positioning on climate change.
In his post-meeting remarks, Modi made a pitch for a “positive agenda” in Paris that focused on access to finance and technology for the developing world, not forgetting to make a special mention of small island countries, an influential voice in the negotiations for UN Security Council reforms.
Modi has aggressively spoken about India’s push on renewable energy, including the plan to produce 175 GW of renewable energy. In his meeting with Obama, Modi said it was time to move away from the “current climate of negativism” and the emphasis on caps.
He reiterated the planned target for 2022, and said he welcomed the US President’s “positive response to my call for a global public partnership for developing affordable and clean energy sources that will enable the faster adoption of clean energy across the world”.
“We should work together to advance that goal,” he said.
Modi said it “was equally important to develop mechanisms to ensure that the affordable also becomes accessible to those who need it the most”.
Climate change was also the centrepiece of Modi’s discussions with British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande, said Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Vikas Swarup.
He added that Microsoft chief Bill Gates dropped in on the Modi-Hollande meeting, underlining the role of technology and the private sector in combating climate change.
Swarup said India has asked for a day’s waiver of the October 1 deadline for submitting the targets, known as the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, saying it would be making a “moral commitment” to the caps.
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