India and the USA have set ambitious domestic targets to ensure cleaner environment and to mitigate the impact of climate change. India has set a target to generate 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, while the USA will ensure 50 per cent of its vehicles will be electric by the same time.
“India and the US are in a position to lead the world in tackling climate change,” John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC), said. Kerry is in India on a two-day visit to hold dialogues with ministers to address climate crisis. His attempt is to align the US efforts ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will be held October 31 to November 12, 2021, in Glasgow, United Kingdom.
Kerry was all praise for India, saying the country has shown the world that development and clean energy can go together. “India is a world leader in demonstrating economic development and clean energy can go together. Hopefully India is given due credit at Glasgow,” he said.
Kerry, along with Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, launched Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue (CAFMD), one of the two main tracks of the US-India Agenda 2030 Partnership that President Biden and Prime Minister Modi announced at the Leaders Summit on Climate in April 2021.
Speaking at the launch, Yadav said the dialogue will not only strengthen India-US bilateral cooperation on climate and environment, but will also help demonstrate how the world can align swift climate action with inclusive and resilient economic development.
“We are working pro-actively in promoting low carbon and sustainable lifestyle and our action translates into multiple policies and programmes aimed at synchronising development and climate change action at national, state and local level,” the minister said.
“Indian economy is becoming green through this constant action. There are efforts to enhance the energy efficiency across the economy, increase the share of renewable energy and increase forest cover, while simultaneously meeting India’s development challenge in a sustainable manner. India has achieved reduction of 24 per cent in emission intensity of its GDP between 2005-2016 while achieving its pre 2020 voluntary targets,” Yadav said at the launch.
The launch was preceded by a bilateral meet where both sides discussed at length a wide range of climate issues relating to COP26, Climate Ambition, Climate Finance, Global Climate Initiatives, including International Solar Alliance (ISA), and Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C).
Kerry said clean energy was the core pillar of India US relationship. “This launch comes at a truly critical juncture with respect to climate change challenge. IPCC report of 2018 said world has 12 years to make most important decisions to avoid worst consequences of climate crisis. Regrettably, we had a president (Donald Trump) who pulled out of it.
Today’s launch comes in wake of the latest IPCC report which says the world is not getting the job done. We are seeing floods, fires, droughts, and even we saw remarkable level of rains in Delhi. Floods which used to happen every 500 years is now happening every 5 to 20 years,” Kerry said.
With the coming of Biden administration in US, there has been shift in relationship between two countries as focus has shifted to clean energy unlike in Donald Trump’s presidency.
Kerry said President Biden had said by 2030, 50 per cent of the vehicles sold in US will be electric, and by 2035 power sector will be carbon free which means free of gas, oil.
“PM Modi has set up 450 GW 2030 is most powerful goal in the world, already 100 GW has been achieved. I Congratulate India.”
Kerry said the US looked forward to partnering with India to bring finance and technology to the table in order to achieve these goals.
The USA is also looking at economic opportunities as India taps renewable energy. Investors are flocking to India, and if it seizes the opportunity, India can become largest market for batteries and solar panels, a market that US was keen to tap for its economic gains.
Earlier, during his meeting with Union Power Minister R.K. Singh, Kerry proposed that USA was willing to enter into a genuine collaboration with India to help realise the ambitious target of reaching 450 GW Renewable Energy by 2030.