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India, US will work together to advance clean energy goals, says climate envoy John Kerry

Speaking at launch of Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD), Kerry says both nations will collaborate on achieving green energy goals and promoting bilateral trade.

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New Delhi: Both India and the US will work together to advance their clean energy goals and strengthen bilateral ties ahead of the COP26, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry said Monday.

Kerry who was on his second trip to India this year, was speaking at the launch of the Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD), part of the Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership between the two countries, aimed at creating stronger bilateral cooperation to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“We will collaborate on attracting capital and enhancing the enabling environment to deploy 450 GW of renewable energy capacity to demonstrate and scale innovative green energy technologies to promote bilateral investment and trade,” Kerry said at the launch.

Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate change, Bhupendra Yadav, said that India is “already an attractive destination for global clean energy investments, I hope this dialogue will work to mobilise and deliver climate finance primarily as grants and concessional finance, as envisaged under Paris Agreement to strengthen climate action”.

India “must be congratulated” for already installing 100 GW of renewable energy, a “remarkable milestone”, while its goals of installing 450 GW of renewable energy are among the most “powerful” in the world, Kerry added.

The CAFMD is one of two tracks that form the Clean Energy Agenda, the other being the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP).

Net-zero emissions

At the launch event Monday, Kerry said India and the US would “develop proposals together that could contribute to curbing emissions during this critical decade all across our economy”.

In the power sector, “this means making a roadmap to achieve the 450 GW renewable energy target. And across transportation, building, and industry, it means charting pathways for a clean transition,” he said.

In his speech, Kerry made it a point to talk about net-zero emissions — a pressure point for India which has so far refused to commit to reducing emissions to net-zero by 2050.

“We have to reach the net-zero global emissions standard by 2050,” Kerry said. “It’s not something I’m saying or Mr Biden is saying, it’s not a matter of ideology, it’s a matter of arithmetic and Physics.”

Indo-US climate ties

Kerry had visited India in April to persuade New Delhi to increase its climate ambitions ahead of President Joe Biden’s Leaders Summit later that same month. The Leaders Summit was described by the White House as an opportunity for 40 nations, including India, “to outline how their countries also will contribute to stronger climate ambition.”

As part of the Paris Agreement, India has agreed to reduce its emissions by 33 to 35 per cent below 2005 levels. It also aims to generate 40 per cent of the country’s power through renewable energy, and create a carbon sink of 2.5 billion-3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide through additional forest and tree cover.

At the Leaders Summit, President Biden announced the US will target reducing emissions by 50 to 52 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

Though India didn’t budge on its climate goals, both countries committed to the Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership at the summit.

(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)

Also read: Editorial by 220 journals, including Lancet and BMJ, urges emergency action on climate change


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