India will fulfil responsibilities on climate: Modi to Obama

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Paris, Dec 1: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India will fulfil all its responsibilities with regard to climate change as he met US President Barack Obama here and discussed the climate agenda along with ways to deepen bilateral strategic ties.

Modi, in his meeting with Obama on the sidelines of the climate summit here, also appreciated the openness with which the US President addresses issues with him and said it will help in developing a better understanding.

Modi, Obama discuss climate

"India will fulfil expectations from it and its responsibilities...the country is working to take forward development and (protecting) environment together," Modi said at a joint press event with Obama. The Prime Minister also mentioned India's ambitious target of producing 175 GW of renewable energy.

Prime Minister's comments came in the backdrop of India's strong resentment to US Secretary of State John Kerry's statement that India would be a "challenge" at the climate conference.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar described the comments as "unwarranted". Javadekar and Kerry accompanied Modi and Obama respectively along with other senior ministers and officials. Modi also talked about solar alliance initiative saying it will help in fulfilling the dreams which have brought the countries together here.

Ahead of his talks with Obama, Modi had said that there was an urgent need to craft a comprehensive, equitable and durable agreement to limit global warming. President Obama said India must curb its carbon dioxide pollution even while it works to eradicate poverty, prioritise growth and promote economic development.

Read More: Modi, Obama to meet on sidelines of Paris climate conference

He also said climate change was one of the major areas for deeper cooperation between the US and India. President Obama emphasised that it was a pleasure to meet with his "friend and partner".

"We agree that (climate change) is an urgent threat. We welcome India's leadership on this issue," Obama said in his remarks ahead of the meeting.

While he said the Paris meeting should protect the possibility of countries like India to pursue their fight against poverty, the US President also clearly stated that serious climate commitments from all parties were absolutely necessary.

The agreement "has to reflect serious and ambitious actions by all countries", he insisted. "In addition to the climate agenda, the two leaders (Obama and Modi) discussed additional steps to deepen their countries' strategic partnership on bilateral, regional, and global issues," a statement released by the White House on the bilateral meeting said.

PTI

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