Narendra Modi and Barack Obama at COP21
US President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the UN Climate Summit in Paris. Getty

US President Barack Obama reportedly called his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to thank him for his leadership during the UN Climate Summit in Paris. Obama commended Modi for his "critical role" in ensuring that the conference was a "historic success".

The Indian Prime Minister is said to have received the phone call from Obama on 16 December, three days after world leaders reached a deal to keep global warming below the 2C recommendation. The agreement was reached following two weeks of negotiations in Paris.

Modi's office tweeted that President Obama had thanked him for playing a positive role that led to the successful outcome of COP21. The two leaders reportedly met on the sidelines of the Climate Change Summit in Paris and are also believed to have had regular phone calls during the negotiations.

Ahead of COP21, India raised concerns over lack of climate change action on behalf of developed countries, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon echoing the country's concerns. India had warned that it would not be "bullied" by the West during the talks, with India's environment minister Prakash Javadekar saying that the country wanted the developed world to compensate for carbon emissions that they had emitted. Modi's government was reported to be asking for an "equitable and just" agreement to be signed at COP21.

A senior member of India's negotiating team in Paris also said that it would not commit to a deal to phase out fossil fuels by 2100.

Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International, urged Modi to reconsider this decision in the wake of deadly Chennai floods that killed hundreds of people in south India during the climate change negotiations.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Naidoo wrote: "I urge you to consider the plight of the most vulnerable people in India and around the world and embrace that long-term goal of 100% renewable energy access for all by 2050."

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