US wants India to play leading role in global climate talks

Modi Obama

WASHINGTON: With weeks to go before the global climate summit in Paris, the US has exhorted India to play a constructive role in climate talks and take on “additional responsibilities” to ensure successful outcome at COP21.

“As the world’s largest democracy, and as a country whose economic influence is only growing, we would welcome additional opportunities for India to take on additional responsibilities when it comes to contributing to the shared interests of the international community,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference in Washington on September 23.

Forging cooperation in climate change negotiations will figure prominently in talks between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama in New York on September 28.

India’s stand on climate change has evoked mixed responses from different countries. While the developed world says that India should commit to reducing carbon emissions like many major countries have, the Like Minded Developing countries, also known as LMDCs, have endorsed India’s stand and agreed to negotiate together at the Paris COP 21. India has yet to declare its peak emission year. Making its position clear, India has decided to focus on mitigation and adaptation. Earlier, France’s President Francois Hollande had said that reaching a deal on climate change in the Paris conference could be unlikely given the lack of clarity about any long-term plan on financial assistance to the developing countries by the developed countries after 2020.

US Ambassador to India Richard Verma recently mentioned that the whole world is watching what India will do to help fructify the promise of an international climate deal, at a conference themed “Green – the Color of Growth: The Business Case for Climate Action” in New Delhi. As Mr Modi and Mr Obama meet on September 28, the two leaders would be focusing on clinching an agreement at Paris. India could act as a bridge between the developed world and the emerging countries in the talks as it enjoys a cordial relationship with many like- minded developing countries.

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