France hails India's efforts ahead of Paris climate meet

Ahead of the crucial UN climate change conference in Paris later this year, France Tuesday said that India will play a "leading" role in the summit.

New Delhi: Ahead of the crucial UN climate change conference in Paris later this year, France Tuesday said that India will play a "leading" role in the summit.

Top French climate change officials who are on an India visit said initiatives like creating an alliance of solar power rich countries talked about by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are the ones which will give "big impulse" to the December summit in Paris.

France is already "impressed" with a slew of initiatives announced by the Prime Minister which include ramping up the solar energy in the country "enormously", the officials said.

"India is a very important country that is playing, has played and will play a leading role in the discussion. We feel the continued support and the determination of the Indian government to achieve an agreement in Paris," Laurence Tubiana, Ambassador for Climate Change Negotiations told reporters.

Tubiana is also the special representative of the French Government for the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21).

Noting that India is on an accelerated development pathway, Tubiana said that India has already implemented policies which transmit what will be the substance of the Indian policy in future.

"I suppose Prime Minister Modi will decide at the end what will be the design of Indian Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) but we are already impressed by the decision of ramping up enormously the deployment of renewable energy particularly 100 GW of solar power by 2020," she said.

The official noted that she feels "comforted" by the commitment of achieving a good agreement in Paris and to know that she can count on the Indian government.

In December, countries would meet in Paris for the COP21 or the UNFCCC to strike a new global climate deal.

On being asked about the contributions of India and China towards climate change, Nicolas Hulot, the special envoy of the French President for the Protection of the Planet, said that it was really important for France to appreciate the commitment of countries by their known situation.

"We cant compare China's commitment (to curb emission) with India's. We can compare it but no one has any lesson to give to the other. Considering India's situation and the priorities which it has, especially to provide access to electricity to 300 million Indians and having set the goal of reducing carbon intensity...

"...If we put that in perspective, its a very significant contribution already. Already wanting to make the share of renewable by bringing it to produce 100 GW and also having set in place fiscal structure which is not called the carbon tax but is almost like that, France welcomes all these measures with a lot of respect," he said. 

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