Paris, Dec 1: The world can pursue an ambitious agreement that can meet both climate and development challenges of countries like India, the US has said as it underlined the need for getting India and China on board to make the UN climate summit a success.
"We can pursue an ambitious climate agreement even while India pursues an ambitious development policy. And, in fact, we can pursue the types of solutions that can meet both climate and development challenges," US Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said.
He was speaking to reporters after US President Barack Obama held bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping here yesterday.
"I think very clearly in both meetings, President Obama made the point that he's made throughout his presidency that addressing the challenge of climate change and pursuing sustainable economic development that lifts people out of poverty around the world are not competitive goals. In fact, they can be mutually reinforcing," Rhodes said.
American leadership in working with its traditional allies but also working with China and India is going to be essential to getting a good deal here in Paris, the top Obama aide said.
Responding to questions, Rhodes said for the success of Paris summit, it is essential that both India and China are on board.
"If we get an agreement here with almost 200 countries, including China and India -- if the United States were to walk away from its own targets, we would lose that type of ambition from China and India and others who would say, well, the United States has walked out on the agreement, why should we follow through?" he noted.
"...if people want to say that the only way to deal with that is to have China and India do their part, and then we walk away from the agreement that China and India are a part of, we will have lost our global leadership," Rhodes said.