New Delhi: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday asked India to take a leadership role in reaching a "meaningful" climate change pact in Paris later this year.
The UN climate conference to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11 of this year, is tasked with finalising a global agreement designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
"I count on the leadership of India in our ongoing efforts to address the climate change issues. ... I expect as one of the most critically important member state of the United Nations (UN) and as one of the fastest growing economy, India should be responsible to address climate change so that they will soon have universal and meaningful climate change agreement in Paris in December," Ban told reporters here.
Stating that this is a "novel and political responsibility", he said, "Nature does not wait for us. Nature does not negotiate with us. It is us 'human beings' who have to take the lead to ensure sustainable development. ...Climate change is a defining issue of our time."
Ban, who visited India's highest green rated building 'Indira Paryavaran Bhawan', also said that he was "encouraged by the strong commitment of Indian government under the leadership of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi".
Lauding India's initiative taken to promote solar power and setting up of smart cities, he said, "I saw myself at 'Vibrant Gujarat Summit'.... I hope many countries in the world will emulate such initiatives of India."
While praising the top UN official for his passion to work in mission mode to mitigate the challenges posed by climate change, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar shared information about energy and water conservation at the green building.
"From this building, we give green message. In this building, we consume half the requirement of water and energy of the normal building would have consumed," he added.