30/11/2015 7:55 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

COP21: Modi To Meet Obama Today In Paris

President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak following a bilateral meeting, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Paris last night to attend the climate change conference. Modi is expected to deliberate on crucial issues relating to environment and climate change, inaugurate the India Pavilion, which showcases "the country's harmony with nature, environment & commitment to mitigate climate change". He is also expected to co-host a meeting of the International Solar Alliance with French President François Hollande and attend 'Mission Innovation' hosted by US President barack Obama.

Obama and Modi will also meet today in Paris to review progress in bilateral relationship and discussion on regional and global issues including terrorism.

The two leaders are expected to meet at 2.45 pm local time Paris (7.15 pm IST) on the sidelines of the crucial climate change conference.

Obama and Modi would primarily focus on climate change but will also review progress in bilateral relationship and discussion on regional and global issues including terrorism.

They are likely to make a brief media appearance including remarks from the two leaders, according to President's schedule released by the White House yesterday, reported PTI.

After Modi came to power in May last year, the two leaders have so far met for a record five times. They last met in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September.

The Paris meeting is the sixth bilateral meeting between them.

Immediately after the Paris bilateral, the two leaders would be joined by French President Francois Hollande along with other leaders and members of the private sector for Mission Innovation Event, the White House said.

Obama arrived in Paris late last night amidst an unprecedented security, in the aftermath of the terrorist attack early this month.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Paris yesterday to attend the crucial climate change conference at which a legally binding universal agreement between nations to curb green house gas emissions is expected to be achieved.

A large number of Heads of State, Heads of Government and Ministers of several countries along with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are expected to be present at the launch of the International Solar Alliance, a concept conceived by Modi.

Modi would join an estimated 150 Presidents, Prime Ministers and Heads of States at the crucial climate summit.

Prior to his departure, the Prime Minister said in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat': "The whole world is worried about climate change. There are discussions everywhere over it and concerns are being expressed...The temperature of the Earth should not increase now. It is the responsibility and concern of all."

His emphasis on the responsibility of all assumes significance as the developed world is trying to place greater onus on developing nations like India in the fight against climate change.

India has been maintaining that the developed countries have been the major polluters over centuries and should assume greater role in fighting global warming by funding and transferring low-cost technology to developing nations.

Joining a select group of countries, India said it will provide USD 2.5 million for the vulnerable nations in the Commonwealth to help them introduce clean energy and reduce green-house gas emissions.

The Paris climate change conference also known as Conference of Parties (CoP-21) is set to kick off today in Paris and will go on till 11 December.

Paris climate conference will for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aim to achieve a legally binding universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2 C.

The conference is expected to attract close to 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from government, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, NGOs and civil society.

The first meeting between the two leaders was in Washington in September last year when Obama hosted Modi at the White House. Obama accepted Modi's invitation to be the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade on January 26 this year in New Delhi. In between, they met twice on the sidelines of other international meetings including G-20.

(with PTI inputs)

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