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Obama-Modi climate deal: Unlike China, no emission target for India

The Times of India, New Delhi, 27th January, 2015


NEW DELHI: India and the US on Sunday stressed enhancing bilateral cooperation to deal with climate change but did not have a China-like bilateral deal where both Washington and Beijing last November set their respective emission cut goals.


Despite international pressure, India walked its own path keeping economic development in mind and insisted on tackling climate change by moving firmly on the clean, renewable energy path, adopting improved energy efficient technology and through various adaptation measures.


Both countries concluded negotiations on a five-year MoU on "energy security, clean energy and climate change". An agreement to this effect is expected "as early as possible" at a mutually agreed date. The US will help India achieve its goals, including 100GW of solar power by 2022, by extending finance and technology.


India, on its part, moved forward to accommodate Obama's demand to discuss the contentious issue of hydro-fluorocarbons (HFCs) and find ways to phase-down this climate-damaging refrigerant. Articulating India's stand on climate change, the PM Modi dismissed the assertion that India was under pressure of the recent US-China climate change deal and said the country feels the pressure of climate change for it cares for its future generations.


In his opening remark at a joint media interaction with Obama, Modi insisted on adaptation measures and moving on the clean, renewable energy path to tackle climate change and asked US to "lead international efforts in making renewable energy accessible and affordable".


Modi said, "For Obama and me, clean and renewable energy is a personal and national priority. We discussed our ambitious national efforts and goals to increase the use of clean and renewable energy. We agreed to enhance our excellent and innovative partnership in this".


Both leaders reaffirmed their prior understanding to deepen India-US collaboration in other fields, including science, technology, innovation and agriculture. As far as the controversial HFCs is concerned, India reaffirmed its September, 2014 understanding with the US and agreed to "cooperate on making concrete progress in the Montreal Protocol this year".