U.S., India Agree to New Series of Agreements on Climate Change, Nuclear Power and National Security

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama on June 7, 2016. (PHOTO CREDIT: Pool, Getty Images)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Obama on June 7, 2016. (PHOTO CREDIT: Pool, Getty Images)

The United States and India agreed to a new series of agreements on climate change, nuclear power and national security Tuesday, including more cooperation on the Paris agreement reached last year.

Following a meeting with President Obama Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India would ratify the Paris agreement this year, a key step toward making the deal stick. The agreement goes into effect 30 days after 55 nations representing 55% of all greenhouse gas emissions ratify it. India is the world’s third-largest producer of greenhouse gases.

So far, at least three dozens have said they will ratify the deal, and India’s participation will push the world over the threshold to ratification.

”I think we are better-positioned than we ever have been to reach the goal of 55% of emissions and 55 countries by the end of this year, and I think this statement should provide significant additional momentum toward this global push,” said Brian Deese, Obama’s senior energy and climate adviser.

The two leaders also announced that the United States will recognize India as a “Major Defense Partner,” which means sharing technology on the level with other major allies and partners.

Obama and Modi’s meeting was the seventh since Modi took power in 2014.

“A key priority for both of us is how to promote economic prosperity and opportunity, and poverty alleviation for our people,” Obama said before the meeting started, as Modi sat to his right. “We continue to discuss a wide range of areas where we can cooperate more effectively in order to promote jobs, promote investment, promote trade, and promote greater opportunities for our people, particularly young people, in both of our countries.”

India, Modi said before the meeting has 800 million people younger than age 35, which gives the nation a huge pool of young talent.

“The United States is well aware of the talent that India has,” he said. “We and the United States can work together to bring forward this talent, and use it for the benefit of mankind and use it for the benefit of innovations and use it to achieve new progress.”

Last month, Modi told The Wall Street Journal that he and Obama have “have a special friendship, a special wavelength.” That was apparent during Modi’s first visit to Washington as prime minister in September 2014, which featured an elaborate state dinner with Obama and a gigantic rally of Indian Americans in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Ray Locker