PM Narendra Modi pushes for action on climate change, with riders

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Updated: Dec 01, 2015 1:17 AM

For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after a handshake and a brief discussion with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, it was time to join over 150 heads of states and governments in putting up an unprecedented show of solidarity for a global agreement on climate change.

PM Narendra Modi said India must also take a leading role in fighting climate change. (PTI)PM Narendra Modi said India must also take a leading role in fighting climate change. (PTI)

For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after a handshake and a brief discussion with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, it was time to join over 150 heads of states and governments in putting up an unprecedented show of solidarity for a global agreement on climate change.

Modi sat and listened to the statements of US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping before making an

appearance for the first of the three public events he

is scheduled to attend on the one-day trip to Paris. Modi himself was scheduled to make his statement later in the day but he did give a glimpse of what was in

his thoughts while speaking after inaugurating the Indian pavilion at the conference venue.

“We want the world to act with urgency (on climate change). We want a comprehensive, equitable and durable (climate change) agreement, which must lead us to restore the balance between humanity and nature and between what we have inherited and what we will leave behind,” he said.

“This will mean a partnership in which those who have the luxury of choices and the capability of technology will make adjustments to sharply reduce their carbon emissions. The extent of their commitment and the strength of their action must be consistent with the carbon space they occupy. And, they must leave enough of what is left of our carbon space to let developing countries grow,” Modi said.

“We want the conviction of the world to be matched by efforts to create conditions in which we can succeed. Because our challenge is pressing, our efforts must be urgent,” he said.

Modi said India must also take a leading role in fighting climate change. “India’s progress is our destiny and the right of our people. But we are a nation that must also lead in combating climate change. It stems from our obligation to give our people clean air, clean rivers, resilient farms, healthy habitats, and forests rich with life,” he said.

Modi’s biggest moment in Paris was when saw his own idea taking form. Last year, Modi had floated the idea of a partnership between all the sunlight-rich tropical countries for promoting and using solar energy in a big way. That partnership was launched later in the evening in the presence of French President Francois Hollande and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon. At least 30 other heads of states attended that event, according to Indian officials.

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