India PM Modi talks climate change with Obama

India PM Modi and US President Obama embrace after their meeting in New York Image copyright PTI
Image caption Climate change dominated the discussion between the two leaders

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US President Barack Obama before concluding his visit to the country.

Mr Obama said after the meeting that much of the discussion had focused on the upcoming climate conference in Paris.

Mr Modi added that the two sides had set "ambitious national agendas" to tackle climate change.

Experts say India's position is key if a climate change deal is to be signed in Paris later this year.

India is the world's third largest carbon emitter, after China and the US.

'Development aspirations'

This is the fifth meeting between Mr Obama and Mr Modi since the latter swept to power in India in May 2014.

"What I indicated to the prime minister is that I really think that India's leadership in this upcoming conference will set the tone not just for today but for decades to come", Mr Obama said in a statement after the meeting.

Mr Modi's statement said that while both leaders shared "an uncompromising commitment on climate change", he was careful to mention that this was "without affecting our ability to meet the development aspirations of humanity".

India argues that more than 20% of its population has no access to electricity and they have a right to development.

Earlier this year, India's Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told the BBC that India would not follow China's lead to announce a target year for its carbon emissions to peak.

However, Mr Modi reiterated his commitment to "clean and sustainable energy" and announced plans to include "not just a plan to add 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, but a development strategy that will enable us to transition to a more sustainable energy mix".

The statement from the Indian side added that Mr Modi had sought US help to bring about "UN reform" under which India is seeking a permanent seat on the security council.