India Refuses to Walk the Climate Change Talk

India Refuses to Walk the Climate Change TalkIndia Refuses to Walk the Climate Change Talk

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US President Barack Obama before concluding his visit to the country.

Obama said after the meeting that much of the discussion had focused on the upcoming climate conference in Paris.

Modi added that the two sides had set “ambitious national agendas” to tackle climate change, BBC reported.

Experts say India’s position is key if a climate change deal is to be signed in Paris later this year.

India is the world’s third largest carbon emitter, after China and the US.

This is the fifth meeting between Obama and Modi since the latter swept to power in India in May 2014.

“What I indicated to the prime minister is that I really think that India’s leadership in this upcoming conference will set the tone not just for today but for decades to come,” Obama said in a statement after the meeting.

Modi’s statement said that while both leaders shared “an uncompromising commitment on climate change”, he was careful to mention that this was “without affecting our ability to meet the development aspirations of humanity”.

  Under Pressure

As countries seek a deal to limit global warming, environmentalists have called on India to set targets for cuts. India is yet to submit its strategy to the United Nations, outlining how it plans to address climate change known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, which has a deadline this week itself.

Last week, China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, renewed its commitment to bring its spiraling emissions to a peak by “around 2030”.

India argues that more than 20% of its population have no access to electricity and they have a right to development.

Earlier this year, India’s Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told the BBC that India would not follow China’s lead to announce a target year for its carbon emissions to peak.

However, Modi reiterated his pledge to pursue “clean and sustainable energy” and announced plans to include “not just a plan to add 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, but a development strategy that will enable us to transition to a more sustainable energy mix”.

India’s course of action ahead of talks in Paris will become clearer on October 2, when the country is scheduled to submit its plans for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

  Time Running Out

On Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande called on world leaders at the UN to speed up their commitments to tackling climate change, so that an historic deal can be reached at a summit in Paris in December, which aims to limit temperature to no more than 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels.

“Some will say to me that this is something that can be decided later at another conference,” Hollande told the UN General Assembly, according to Euronews.

“Well I assure you here, and I am saying this quite candidly, that if we don’t make this decision in Paris it will be not just late. It will be too late for the world.”

Hollande also announced on Monday that France will increase its contribution to helping developing countries tackle climate change from €3 billion to €5 billion.