Washington: There is a concerted effort on the part of the United States to seek a common ground with India on climate change, the White House said on Wednesday as it took the issue with New Delhi being described as the biggest obstacle to a possible agreement in Paris.
“I don’t think I would describe them (India) as the biggest obstacle, necessarily,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.
“Anytime you are negotiating an agreement with more than 180 countries, there are going to be a lot of issues to work through,” he said in response to a question.
“…But there’s no denying that there has been a concerted effort on the part of the United States, starting at the level of the President, but also including the rest of our negotiating team, to seek common ground with the Indians,” Earnest said.
“And to reassure them about our commitment to investments moving forward, and helping countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. But also making sure that those countries are demonstrating a commitment of their own to reducing carbon pollution and joining the rest of the world in the fight against climate change,” the White House Press Secretary said.
Earlier, US President Barack Obama had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which they emphasised their “personal commitment” to secure a “strong” agreement.
The call from Obama came even as US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday held a “positive and constructive” meeting with Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar at the ongoing climate change conference in Paris on various bilateral efforts made to reach a deal for limiting global warming.
India had come out very strongly against Kerry’s remark in an interview in which he had termed India as a “challenge” in the crucial climate change conference.
Since the negotiations here began, India has been criticised, mostly by the western media on its plan to expand its usage of coal to meet its energy needs.