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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday met John Kerry, US special presidential envoy for climate, and discussed India’s commitment to targets set under the Paris Agreement as well as US’ plans to facilitate access to technologies to combat climate change.

“Prime Minister noted that India is committed to meeting its nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement and that it was among the few countries on track to meet these commitments. Mr. Kerry noted that the United States would support India’s climate plans by facilitating affordable access to green technologies and requisite finance," the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Wednesday.

Kerry on Wednesday also met power and renewable energy minister RK Singh and commerce minister Piyush Goyal to discuss ways to tackle climate change.

“The Indian side pointed out that it was the only major economy whose energy transition was consonant with sub two degree rise in temperature," Singh’s office said in a statement while highlighting India’s achievement of having 38.5% of established power generation from non-fossil fuel sources as against its target of achieving 40% by 2030.

The meeting between Modi and Kerry follows another between the former US secretary of state and environment minister Prakash Javadekar a day earlier, where the two discussed financing, joint research and collaboration to tackle climate change.

Kerry is in India for the first time in his new position and is holding consultations on increasing climate ambition ahead of US President Joe Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate that is scheduled for 22-23 April and the 26th Conference of the Parties meeting to be held later this year.

Kerry is the second top official of the Biden Administration to visit India after defence secretary Lloyd Austin in March.

Biden has invited 40 world leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the virtual leaders’ summit scheduled later this month.

Kerry’s meeting and Biden’s summit follow the US rejoining the Paris Agreement under Biden. The Paris Agreement is a legally binding agreement between countries aimed at limiting global warming to below 2° C compared to pre-industrial levels, which in turn is aimed at avoiding some of the worst impact of climate change.

While India’s per capita carbon dioxide emission is low, in absolute terms, it is the third largest emitter after China and the US.

The meetings come as part of a nudge by the US government to India to set more ambitious targets at tackling climate change.

However, the Indian government’s position has been to seek an equitable share in the carbon footprint, especially since developed countries have historically made a higher contribution to warming.

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