Obama calls Modi to discuss climate change negotiations

RSTV Bureau
PARIS: US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, shakes hands with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as they pose after a meeting as part of the COP 21 United Nations conference on climate change, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2015 in Le Bourget, Paris. Photo - PTI

PARIS: US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, shakes hands with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as they pose after a meeting as part of the COP 21 United Nations conference on climate change, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2015 in Le Bourget, Paris.
Photo – PTI

Even as hard negotiations are on at the international Climate Change summit in Paris, US President Barack Obama telephoned Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the two leaders spoke about their “personal commitment” in obtaining a “strong” agreement.

“Both leaders emphasised their personal commitment to secure a strong climate change agreement this week and their interest in our countries’ working together to achieve a successful outcome,” said the White House.

Obama discussed the negotiations at the ongoing Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris. Leaders of more than 180 countries are said to be racing against time to be able to clinch a long-term accord on climate change, which is acceptable to both developed and developing countries. The conference is due to end on Friday and still no clear deal has been arrived at.

According to the White House, President Obama is closely following the negotiations at the summit and has been personally calling different heads of nations to arrive at a solution.

“I would anticipate that over the course of this week as the negotiations continue, the President would be in touch with other world leaders,” he said, adding that Obama is getting regular updates from his team in Paris about the status of the negotiations,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters in Washington.

A day before President Obama called PM Modi, he also spoke to his Brazilian counterpart, Earnest added.

Earnest also said that the US President was optimistic about the success of the Paris summit.

Obama’s telephone call to PM Modi came a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry met Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar in Paris on Tuesday. The meeting between them was hailed as “positive and constructive” by Kerry.

“We had a very constructive meeting, a very positive meeting. We are working hard. We appreciate the good effort of the Indian delegation,” Kerry had said after meeting Javadekar for an hour.

On the other hand, Javadekar stressed on India’s call for an “ambitious and just agreement in Paris.”

“Kerry had come and as you have seen all day long, we (India) is discussing with all the groups and countries. In the next 72 hours we are going to continue this. We had discussions on what efforts they (US) are making and what we are doing,” Javadekar said.

“We want an ambitious and just agreement in Paris. We told him about the efforts we are making for that. The discussions will continue,” he added.

On being asked if the issues of equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) were discussed, Javadekar said that India’s role was well known to the US and discussions were made on “how to arrive (at an agreement) and where “the shoe pinches”.

(With inputs from PTI)