Giving assurance to UN chief Antonio Guterres on environmental issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India will play its "due and responsible" role at the crucial climate change negotiations in Poland next week, during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires.
The main topic of Prime Minister Modi's discussion with the UN chief was the forthcoming COP24 climate change meeting in Katowice, Poland from December 3, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said.
Modi tweeted that he had an excellent meeting with the Secretary General and that there were wide-ranging deliberations on various global issues.
"We talked about mitigating climate change and India's efforts in this regard through initiatives like the International Solar Alliance," the prime minister tweeted.
Gokhale said Secretary General Guterres said India plays a major role in climate change negotiations and acknowledged that Prime Minister Modi has taken a number of concrete steps towards addressing climate change.
"He mentioned the International Solar Alliance. The Secretary General also said that when he was in Delhi last month he had seen for himself the manner in which other campaigns the prime minister had led including the Swachh Bharat campaign having an impact on the environment," he said.
It was the Secretary General's sincere hope and expectation that in the forthcoming meeting in next week in Poland, India will pay a uniting role, will play the role of a good Samaritan.
He hoped that India would bring together the various groups of developed countries and developing countries -- those which have money those which need money -- to come up with certain solution which would eventually feed into the climate change summit that the UN chief is planning in 2019, he said.
"It was a good meeting. The prime minister assured the Secretary General that India plays an important role in climate change negotiations and that it is part of the Indian culture and civilisation to preserve the environment and that he could be rest assured that India would play its due and responsible role at COP24," he said.
According to PMO sources, the UN Secretary General has reached out to prime minister Modi twice in the last two months.
They said the meeting on Thursday signifies the importance that both leaders attach to the issue of climate change.
It reflects the respect in which the prime minister and his initiatives are held globally to take the lead on issues of global importance, the sources said.
( With inputs from PTI )