Barack Obama was advised, only half-jokingly, to wear a gas mask when he appears as guest of honour at India’s Republic Day parade on Monday. The air pollution in Delhi and other Indian cities has become that bad.
Providing a fix for that very unhealthy air – 13 of the world’s most polluted cites are in India – is a growing priority for the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, and could take key position in a suite of clean energy initiatives the two leaders are expected to roll out on Monday.
“The co-operation on clean energy and climate change is critically important,” Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, told a conference call with reporters.
America is hoping to persuade India, one of the world’s biggest emitters, to commit to an ambitious post-2020 plan for reining in its greenhouse gas emissions ahead of the international climate change meeting in Paris this December.