Washington: US President Barack Obama will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Paris summit next week as part of an effort to forge a strong global agreement on climate change, the White House has announced.
Obama would meet Modi on November 30, the opening day of the Paris climate change conference.
The US President will also meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the start of the two-week climate summit, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters.
He said the US “wants to send a clear signal” in meetings with China, India and France that it will be working with the “key players” for a strong international agreement on climate change.
Obama’s meeting with Modi will be their seventh since 2014. “We have been engaging with India throughout the year in determining how they can contribute constructively to a successful outcome in Paris,” Rhodes said.
Modi and Obama have had talks in this regard during the US President’s trip to India, the bilateral meeting in New York at the UN General Assembly and on the margins of the recent summits they attended.
Replying to a query, Rhodes said that cooperation from major emitters like India and China is “key to the success of the Paris Summit on climate change”. “We need to have the broadest set of countries engaged in this if it’s going to be successful.
That was the lesson from Copenhagen, which is that if you restrict this to a certain form, you will likely be limited to the Kyoto countries or even a small number of countries.
“And it’s not simply a question of the US coming to the table, it’s a question of whether China and India and Brazil and other major emitters are a part of this framework,” he said.
He said the US has broadened the scope of the countries that are participating in the Summit.
Rhodes called for having very strong transparency and accountability provisions so there is a mechanism to determine if countries are standing by and behind their commitments going forward, even as a framework is in place to ensure that ambitious targets in terms of emissions reduction and providing an ambitious level of support to developing countries so as to combat climate change are met.