Washington/New Delhi:

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday met the United States' Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, here and the two leaders discussed a range of issues including climate finance, joint research and collaboration.

“Had an engaging and fruitful discussion with Mr.@JohnKerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. We discussed a range of issues including #ClimateFinance, joint research and collaboration, etc,” Javadekar, who led an eight-member Indian team at the meeting, tweeted.

Kerry was accompanied by a seven-member US delegation in the talks, an environment ministry official said.

Kerry is on a four-day visit to India, from April 5 to April 8, during which he will meet representatives from the Union government, the private sector and NGOs.

This is also Kerry's first visit to India as the US Special Envoy for Climate Change. In January, the Biden administration had re-joined the Paris Agreement.

The visit aims at consultations on increasing climate ambition ahead of Biden's Leaders' Summit on Climate scheduled for April 22-23 and the COP26 meet to be held later this year.

US President Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to a US-hosted virtual summit on climate to underscore the urgency and the economic benefits of stronger climate action.

This will be the second time PM Modi and US President Biden will be together at a virtual summit after last month's Quad meeting.

''As one of the world's largest economies and a global leader in science and innovation, India is a critical part of the solution to the climate crisis. We see India as an important partner on future clean energy research, development, and deployment, not least because of their successful domestic agenda in this area,” a spokesperson at the US Embassy had said on Monday.

“A key focus for our administration is supporting and encouraging India's decarbonization efforts through clean, zero, and low-carbon investment, and supporting India in mitigating its fossil energy use,'' he had said.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), India is the third-largest global emitter of carbon dioxide, after China and the US, despite extremely low per capita CO2 emissions and is under pressure to commit itself to net zero emissions by 2050, in line with pledges made by several other countries..

It has set a target of achieving 175GW (gigawatt) of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450GW by 2030.

"India is getting the job done on climate, pushing the curve," Kerry said. "You (India) are indisputably a world leader already in the deployment of renewable energy."

Government sources told Reuters that India was unlikely to bind itself to a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as its energy demand was projected to grow more than that of any other nation over the next two decades. Kerry is leading efforts to get countries to step up commitments ahead of a summit of 40 leaders on April 22-23 called by U.S. President Joe Biden.

Later this year, world leaders are due to gather for a U.N. climate summit to build on the 2015 Paris accord to limit global warming. Kerry said India was setting a "very strong example" for other nations on powering a growing economy with clean energy.

"That kind of urgency is exactly what we need to confront global climate change," he said. India points to its target of generating 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030 – five times its current capacity and two and half times its Paris pledge.

But officials in India argue against adopting tougher emission goals, noting that its per capita emissions are still only an eighth of those of the United States and less than a third of China's, even as it tries to bridge a development gap. Kerry said it was "absolutely critical" that India, the United States and others scale up investments in areas including energy storage, clean fuels and decarbonising industries.

"India, in particular, is a red-hot investment opportunity because of its clean energy transition," he said.