New Delhi: India and the US on Sunday agreed to work closely on efforts to promote solar energy and increase cooperation in attempts to strike a global climate change deal later this year in Paris. The two countries also agreed to work together on clean energy and launch joint projects on improving the air quality in Indian cities.

“Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi described to me his ambitious efforts to ensure clean water clean air for Indian people. We want to be partners in this effort. I am also pleased that we agreed to a number of important steps to promote clean energy and to confront climate change. We very much support India’s ambitious goal for solar energy and stand ready to speed this expansion with additional financing," said US President Barack Obama after his summit level meeting with Narendra Modi in the national capital.

Obama said the two sides are “launching new joint projects to improve air quality in Indian cities". “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. And going forward, we have agreed to make concrete progress this year towards phasing out HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) under the Montreal protocol," said Obama.

He stressed the importance of joint Indo-US efforts to achieve a stronger global climate deal in Paris later this year.

“Prime minister and I made a personal commitment to work together to pursue a strong global climate agreement in Paris. As I indicated to him, I think India’s voice is very important on this issue. No country is going to be more important in moving forward a strong agreement than India," Obama added.

Earlier, in his statement, Modi said that, for him and President Obama, “clean and renewable energy is a personal and national priority". “We discussed our ambitious national efforts and goals to increase the use of clean and renewable energy. 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. President and I expressed hope for a successful Paris Conference on climate change this year," said Modi. He stressed they would continue to deepen their, “collaboration in science, technology, innovation, agriculture,health, education and skills".

Asked if there was pressure on India after the US-China climate change deal, Modi said: “There is no pressure on India… India is an independent nation and no pressure of any person or any country works on it. But pressure is there… it is about what kind of planet we want to give to the future generations. Climate change in itself is a huge pressure… global warming is itself a huge pressure."

“And whosoever has any worries for the future generation, it is their duty to become conscious today so that future generations can be given a better environment and a better life. This pressure should be on every country, every government and every person. We are responding to that only," Modi added.

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