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India on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to the landmark Paris climate change agreement, saying it is willing to “work above and beyond” the pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, at a U.N. ‘Leadership Summit on Environment Pact’, said that India was at the forefront of the debate on environment and development.

The Minister's remarks came amid uncertainty over the United States' role in the deal after President Donald Trump, in June, announced that his country was withdrawing from the Paris deal, arguing that it gives undue advantage to countries like India and China.

India, which is the world’s third largest carbon polluter, along with more than 190 nations, reached a pact in December 2015 with an aim to prevent an increase in the global average temperature and keep it well below 2 degrees Celsius.

The deal, which replaced the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, was ratified in October 2016.

Participating in the U.N. meet hosted by Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Ms. Swaraj said, India was willing to work “above and beyond” the Paris agreement.

“Understanding our responsibility towards planet Earth,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

The summit was presided over by French President Emmanuel Macron.

India took the climate change issue very seriously, Mr. Kumar said.

“We also mentioned that India and France are working together on international Solar Alliance,” he said.

During the day, Ms. Swaraj had a series of meetings with leaders from Mexico, Norway and Belgium wherein the focus was primarily on bilateral relations,

She also called on Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.

“There were some discussions on the possibility of a high level visit from Belgium to India later this year,” Mr. Kumar said.

Later in the evening, Ms. Swaraj attended a reception hosted by British Prime Minister Theresa May for the Commonwealth Heads of Government delegations.

Ms. Swaraj is scheduled to hold meetings with her counterparts from San Marino, Brazil, Morocco, Moldova and call on Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani.

She is also scheduled to participate in several multilateral meetings including that of the G-4 (Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation foreign ministers.

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Location : Delhi, India Date : 2017-09-20 04:43:09