New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday dismissed that there was any pressure to ink a pact similar to US-China agreement on emission cuts as India and the US announced important steps to promote clean energy and confront climate change.
Speaking after talks with visiting US President Barack Obama here, Modi said "President and I expressed hope for a successful Paris Conference on climate change this year".
Obama said that the two countries have agreed to make "concrete progress" in phasing out major greenhouse gases apart from expanding solar energy initiatives and launching joint projects to improve air quality in Indian cities.
Both the countries agreed to "pursue" for a strong global climate pact on emission cuts in the forthcoming UN climate conference to be held in Paris in December this year.
"India's voice is very important on this issue. Perhaps no country could potentially be more affected by the impacts of climate change and no country is going to be more important in moving forward a strong agreement than India," Obama said in a joint press meet while referring to Paris climate talks.
Noting that both countries have agreed to a number of important steps to promote clean energy and confront climate change, he said the US supports India's goal for solar energy and it "stands to speed this expansion with additional financing".
"We are also launching new joint projects to improve air quality in Indian cities. The US will share more data and develop tools to help India assess and adapt to the impact of climate change and help vulnerable communities become more resilient," he said.
On a query whether there was pressure on India to ink a pact similar to the one signed between the US and China on emission cuts, Modi said, "India is an independent country. Pressure of any country or a person does not affect India.
"There is a pressure on this issue that what kind of environment we wish to provide for future generation.
"Climate change is itself a pressure. Global warming is itself a pressure. It is the responsibility of those, who are concerned about future generation, to become conscious about climate change and adopt policies so that we are able to give good future and good environment to next generation.
"I feel that every government, every country and every person should have this pressure. We understand this pressure and responding accordingly," Modi said.
Modi asserted that clean and renewable energy is a "personal and national priority" for both the nations.
"We also agreed to further enhance our excellent and innovative partnership in this area. I asked him to lead international efforts in making renewable energy more accessible and affordable to the world," he said.
President Obama said that the two nations "have agreed to work together to make concrete progress this year towards phasing out hydrofluorocarbons under the Montreal protocol". Hydrofluorocarbons are major greenhouse gases.
That apart, India and US have made "personal commitment" to work together and pursue a strong global climate agreement in Paris.
The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that are responsible for ozone depletion.
India has been advocating reaching a "political consensus" on phasing down climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons and has asked the UN to convene a special session on Montreal Protocol to address concerns of developing nations amid efforts by US-led developed nations to push for a global treaty on HFCs.