India and the US may see more concrete action on climate change as part of their bilateral agreements. During his three-day visit to India between September 12 and 14, US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry discussed action on climate change with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Minister of Environment Bhupinder Yadav.
Kerry also met with leaders of the private sector in order to accelerate India’s transition to cleaner energy. The US will be providing financial mobilisation to India to achieve its goal of building 450 GW capacity of renewable energy.
“The agenda 2030 partnership established climate and clean energy as a core pillar of the US-India relationship and the CAF is one of the two main tracks of the agenda that we created for the 2030 Summit. The other part of that is the strategic energy partnership,” Kerry said.
'The Climate Action and Finance (CAF) Mobilisation Dialogue’ between India and the US was started with the intention of discussing climate finance and action under the previously signed and ratified Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership between the two countries. The partnership
was announced in April with an aim to provide India with financial and technological aid so that the country could meet its goals as per the Paris Agreement. The US also aims to reduce its own emissions within the ambit of the agreement for more equitable action on climate change.
India’s aims of turning to a renewable economy hinge on the development of 450 GW of renewables and hydrogen production and its usage, while slowly phasing out the number of carbon-based fuels for its vehicles. The US will simultaneously be reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52 percent on an economy-wide scale by the year 2030.
This is not the first agreement between the two geopolitical powers on climate change. The Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) was launched in 2009 to encourage the development of new technologies to ease the growth of low-carbon solutions and clean industrial processes. In all, PACE has led to the utilisation of $2.5 billion in investment towards clean energy in India alone.
Advanced economies have often been criticised for their failure to support developing and emerging economies to shift to greener technologies, even though in many cases the former had exploited the latter to reach the states they are currently in. Lack of equitable action has been described by many activists as a major political hindrance in achieving the goals set out by the Paris Agreement.
Strategic partnerships like the one between the US and India provide opportunities for developing economies to receive the technological and financial support needed to quickly transition to greener solutions. At the same time, they also help in holding mature economies like that of the US to stricter actions on climate action within their own borders as well.
Meetings like these are important before the upcoming 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, which is going to be held in Glasgow. The conference will be held five years after the Paris Agreement was internationally ratified in COP21 and is an important way to measure the global progress made against climate change.
“Every one of us understands the basics of the science. To keep the 1.5 degrees warming level in reach, and avoid even more catastrophic consequences of this crisis, we must take action now. We have to take action on short term global emission reductions because that’s the way we’re actually going to meet the challenge of the climate crisis. And we have to reach a net zero global standard by 2050,” added Kerry.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)