The claim by the US that India will ratify the Paris climate change agreement this year, was contradicted on Wednesday by official Indian sources.
“We agreed to join as soon as possible and that is what is reflected in the Joint Statement as well,” the sources said, indicating that India had not fixed a deadline to sign.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talks with President Barack Obama, the US had said India will try to sign the landmark accord to limit greenhouse gases this year.
The accord will become binding when at least 55 countries representing 55% of global emissions formally join.
India’s signature is crucial as it will guarantee that the agreement will go into effect before the next US President takes over in January, with Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump threatening to re-negotiate it.
The Joint Statement said that both India and the US recognised the urgency of climate change and share the goal of enabling entry into force of the Paris agreement as early as possible.
It said the US reaffirmed its commitment to join the agreement as soon as possible this year.
“India similarly has begun its processes to work toward this shared objective. The leaders reiterated their commitment to pursue low greenhouse gas emission development strategies in the pre-2020 period and to develop long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies,” it said.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar yesterday said there were regulatory and legal issues to be addressed and that the Indian government was “looking at ways and means” to take the agreement forward.