Paris–A day after the much-attacked withdrawal by the US, India and France on Saturday pledged themselves to take the Paris accord on climate change forward with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he will go beyond the agreement even as the two countries vowed to jointly fight the scourge of terrorism.
“India is with the Paris accord and even beyond that we will walk together and work together and leave a legacy for the future generations. In this direction India and France have taken several measures and discussed Indo-French partnership for sustainable technology,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared at a joint media interaction after talks with new French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace.
“Paris accord is a shared legacy of the world. The way we worked shoulder to shoulder, it is such a contribution of the present generation which gives birth to a new hope for becoming legacy for the future generations. It is a shared legacy of the world,” he said.
“It is not just a question of protection of environment but it is the joint responsibility of all of us to save Mother Earth. It is our duty. For me and Indians preserving environment is an article of faith. What we got from our ancestors it becomes our responsibility to give pure water and pure air to the coming generations and the future world,” he said.
On his part, the French President said first and foremost our commitment is to climate change and France will continue till the end in its implementation of the accord.
The assertion by the two leaders came a day after US President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull out of the Paris Accord, blaming among other things, India and China who he said were benefiting unfairly in billions of dollars. Trump’s decision to pull out of the accord, which seeks to curb carbon emissions and has been agreed by almost all countries, has come under global attack.
Observing that the world is passing through a crisis, Modi said that he and Macron discussed terrorism extensively, on how to save the world from terror and radicalisation, and how to “go forward in deradicalisation and how to strengthen the fight against terror.”
Earlier, Macron said France, which has seen some of the worst terror attacks in recent times, would stand by India in its fight against terrorism.
Modi said that at the time of the Paris accord an International Solar Alliance (ISA) was launched. “I see a bright future for ISA as it was born out of joint efforts of India and France. I am happy that President Macron is fully committed to it and we will achieve success.”
Referring to climate change and terrorism as two major challenges before the world, Modi said, “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 understands the danger of terrorism as it has experienced it.”
“Today a large part of the world is facing this problem. We discussed in detail that what could be the ways to tackle radicalisation, how to be alert to use of technology (by terror groups), how to strengthen the movement towards deradicalisation and how the world can move forward in peace and amity,” he said.
Complimenting Macron on his electoral victory, Modi expressed the hope that the French leader’s “energetic, visionary and young leadership” would provide strong and successful helming for not only France but also contribute to a strong European Union to maintain a balance in the global order.
Modi thanked Macron for accepting his invitation to visit India.
He also shared the French President’s views on greater exchange of students programmes between the two countries and said they will strengthen it.
“The canvas of our relationship is very wide covering technology, trade, innovation, investment, education, energy, entrepreneurs, defence and communication. All these are important for us. The canvas is so wide that you can make out whether it is smart cities where the French have made investments and communication cooperation,” he said.
Modi said the bilateral relations between the two countries are very deep in every sector. It is not limited just to two countries but it is helpful in the global context – “How we can move forward on the common good of the global context,” he said.
In his remarks Macron said that the first and foremost of their commitment is to the climate change accord and they will continue till the end in its implementation.
“Both our countries are committed to work together in defence cooperation, maritime security and fighting terrorism on the internet too. France will stand by India in the fight against terrorism,” he said.
Macron said France is also committed to taking initiatives in tapping solar energy as part of harnessing renewable energy.
He said France wants more Indian students to come to France for education and similarly French students going to India.
He said that the French government would like more exchanges between the two countries in literature and cinema.