Kerry: India is 'committed' to climate action

Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryClimate policies propel a growing dysfunction of Western democracies Kerry calls out countries that need to 'step up' on climate change Those on the front lines of climate change should be empowered to be central to its solution MORE said the world's third greatest emitter of fossil fuels is committed to fighting climate change.

During his visit on Sunday, Kerry said India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi "understands" and is "committed" to reining in greenhouse gas emissions.

Recent comments from India's environment minister, and its prime minister, raised questions over whether the country would come to the negotiating table in time for the climate talks in Paris at the end of the year.

Kerry's comments seemed to squash skepticism from officials close to the climate talks.

"I know that the Prime Minister not only understands, but is committed to policies which will deal with climate change. And that's why he has already announced ambitious plans to scale upIndia's renewable power programs," Kerry said.

Kerry said the global climate treaty will "be a focus of the conversation" President Obama will have with Modi during his visit to India later this month.

"We are committed to working with India to reach a landmark climate change agreement in Paris at the end of this year," Kerry said.

In separate remarks on Sunday, Kerry dived into the need to transition away from fossil fuels in order to mitigate climate change.

Kerry stressed that "no single country…can solve this problem by itself."

The administration has made climate change a key part of the presidents agenda, and have devoted increasing focus on the issue in Obama's second-term.

"Bottom line is we all have to be part of this solution, and every company here has to start making choices," Kerry said, speaking to company executives.

"You think it’s more expensive to invest in a particular form of energy that may be cleaner, not as cheap as coal, not as cheap as oil, dirty oil, but you’re wrong. Because there’s no cost accounting that is done that actually tallies up the real costs of our current dependency on fossil fuels," Kerry said.

He explained that costs from fossil-fuel dependency are reflected in "children who go to hospitals with lung problems," and damage to coastal towns due to extreme storms, and devastation to crops.

All of those things, Kerry said, are "now coming as a consequence of climate change, and a host of other problems."

Talks leading up to Paris will be crucial to bringing countries to the table to sign a global climate accord.

A number of nations are still having difficulty agreeing on whether the accord should be legally binding or not. The U.S. is pushing for a flexible agreement that is legally binding in some areas but not all.