India and France today vowed to work together for the successful implementation of the landmark Paris climate agreement and fight the challenge posed by terrorism, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron here.
Modi said India was committed to “go above and beyond” the Paris deal to protect climate for future generations as he termed the UN-brokered agreement a shared legacy of the world, a day after the US president walked out of the accord.
Speaking after holding two hours of wide-ranging talks with Macron at the presidential Elysee Palace here, Modi said the Paris climate deal reflects “our duty towards protecting the mother Earth and our natural resources. For us, this (protection of environment) is an article of faith.”
“Paris climate agreement is a shared legacy of the world.
It will benefit the future generations as well,” Modi said addressing a joint press event with Macron.
He said India is committed to the Paris accord, and “even beyond it, India will work and walk together with others to leave a gift for the future generations.”
“We have natural resources because our previous generations protected these resources. We must do the same for our future generations,” Modi said.
Describing the city of Paris as an important part of his political journey, the prime minister said India and France had worked shoulder to shoulder for this agreement.
His remarks came after US President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw from the Paris climate change deal on curbing carbon emissions, which had been agreed by more than 190 nations. Trump said the agreement unfairly benefited countries like India and China.
On his part, Macron said he wants to restate France’s full commitment to the fight against climate warming.
The Paris agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise in this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The landmark agreement, which entered into force last November, calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future, and to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change.
The two leaders voiced concern over the growing threat of terrorism worldwide.
“Terrorism is one of the biggest challenges the world is facing today,” Prime Minister Modi said, adding that he and Macron discussed extensively on how to save the world from terrorism and radicalisation.
“We cannot see the danger of climate change but we can see the horrific effects of terrorism, we can feel it.
Innocent people, women, children lose their lives to terror.
Every child in France knows the face of terror,” Modi said, referring to a series of terror attacks that rocked France in recent years claiming dozens of lives.
He said terrorism is visible and it affects entire world, including France and India. “World needs to unite to defeat the menace of terrorism,” Modi said.
Macron said that the issues of tackling terrorism was discussed at length during his talks with Prime Minister Modi and France fully supports India’s fight against terrorism.
“We are committed to work together in defence cooperation, maritime security and fighting terrorism on the internet. France will stand by India in the fight against terrorism,” he said.
The two leaders agreed to fight terrorism in all its forms and to work on concrete plans to fight terrorism on the internet before the end of the year.
Modi said India and France enjoy deep-rooted ties and the two nations have been working together for a very long time, bilaterally and multilaterally.
“Be it trade and technology, innovation and investment, energy, education and enterprise, we want to give a boost to India-France ties,” the prime minister said.
He also expressed interest in improving the cultural relations between India and France.
Modi said several Indians fought in the first two world wars for world peace. Macron thanked Indian soldiers for their sacrifices for France’s freedom during World Wars.
Modi also invited the French president to visit India.
Macron accepted the invitation and said he will visit New Delhi by the end of the year for an international summit on solar power – an area on which France plans closer cooperation with India.
Earlier, Macron greeted Prime Minister Modi with a bear hug in the courtyard of the presidential Elysee Palace when he arrived for the meeting and working lunch.
The Prime Minister thanked President Macron for the warm welcome and congratulated him for the election victory.
39-year-old Macron created history last month by becoming the youngest president of France.
Modi said India is in favour of a united progressive European Union.
The prime minister also spoke of the service to humanity and human values that France-India relations have rendered successfully over the years. He expressed confidence that relations will go forward even faster.
France is India’s 9th largest investment partner. France is also a key partner in India’s development initiatives in areas like defence, space, nuclear and renewable energy, urban development and railways.