Modi Obama
Modi ObamaReuters

India intends to join the Paris Agreement on climate change this year, the Obama administration has reportedly said, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House to hold bilateral talks and discuss matters of global concern.

The Associated Press quoted Obama as saying that the two largest democracies of the world have "joined forces" to bring into force the Paris Agreement on climate change. "We discussed how we can as quickly as possible bring the Paris Agreement into place, how we can make sure that climate financing that's necessary for India to be able to embark on its bold vision for solar energy and clean energy that Prime Minister Modi has laid out can be accomplished," Obama said after his meeting with Modi in the Oval Office.

Modi apparently said the two countries would continue working "shoulder to shoulder" and cooperate on issues of global concern which include terrorism, nuclear security and climate change.

According to Reuters, India's entrance into the agreement would result in its enactment years ahead of schedule.

The joint statement apparently said India would try to join the climate change agreement "as soon as possible this year," and had begun the process of ratifying it. However, there are doubts on whether India would formally join the agreement this year, AP reported.

Reuters reported that the US was keen on countries joining quickly because the the pact could be put to effect only when a minimum of 55 countries representing 55 percent of global carbon emissions ratified it. The United Nations said 17 small countries had ratified it by the end of May, while the U.S., China, Canada, Mexico and Australia intend to join the agreement this year.

Environmental groups had hoped for the agreement to be ratified during Modi's Washington trip.

World Resources Institute President Andrew Steer was quoted by the agency as saying: "With India now on board, a growing chorus of countries is seeking to bring the Paris Agreement into full effect as soon as possible."