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Obama invites India to major economies forum on climate change

world Updated: Mar 29, 2009 21:09 IST
Arun Kumar
Highlight Story

US President Barack Obama has invited the leaders of 16 major economies including India to Washington for a forum on energy and climate next month to prepare ground for a new global climate change regime.

The forum, scheduled for April 27-28, seeks to "generate the political leadership necessary" for a successful outcome at the UN climate change negotiation to be held in Copenhagen in December, the White House said in a statement Saturday.

Obama, who recently turned his attention to the need for more clean-energy funding, has also asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to attend the meet.

Besides India, the other major economies are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Britain.

Last week, Obama told a group of renewable-energy company owners and investors that the country has "known the right choice for a generation (and that) the time has come to make that choice".

He argued that an expanded investment is needed to lay the foundation for long-term economic growth, cut dependence on foreign oil and slow the process of global warming.

"We can allow climate change to wreak unnatural havoc or we can create jobs preventing its worse effects," he said. "We can hand over the jobs of the 21st century to our competitors, or we can create those jobs right here in America."

The need for new energy sources was a heated point of contention in the 2008 presidential campaign. Obama emphasised the need for renewable-energy development, while Republican nominee John McCain stressed a preference for more oil drilling within the United States.