President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced that both countries will look to formally enter the Paris climate deal this year, a major step toward the pact taking effect in 2016. The United States had previously announced its intention to formally enter the climate deal, which sets greenhouse gas reduction targets for countries around the world. But India’s decision to do so greatly increases the chances the deal will kick in this year: the deal won’t formally kick in until countries representing at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions ratify it.
India is the world’s fourth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide; the U.S. is second. Brian Deese, President Obama’s top climate change advisor, said Obama and Modi are “aligned and on the same page” about the need to ratify the Paris climate deal, and that both will work toward that goal this year.
‘Both leaders feel as if the collaboration between the two leaders was an important element of actually getting Paris successfully negotiated last December,’ Deese said. ‘They will both clearly endorse the importance of promoting full implementation of the Paris agreement.’
Modi is in town for meetings with Obama and to give an address to Congress. Other new climate agreements between the two countries include a focus on reducing the use of a refrigerant chemical, working on aircraft emissions, finalizing a nuclear energy deal between the countries and pumping money into clean energy projects in India.
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