United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry on Thursday said India and the US can come together to find new fuels and technologies to help deal with climate change.
He also hoped that the two nations build a partnership to accelerate the deployment of 450 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy across India by 2030.
Participating in the sixth edition of the Raisina Dialogue virtually, Kerry said that “there is a big appetite in India” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is deeply committed to moving as fast as possible to living up to Paris responsibilities and beyond.
“I think these two great democracies have an opportunity to come together to harmonize some of our initiatives to find new fuels, new technologies — battery storage, direct carbon capture… whatever it is that is going to help us meet this challenge,” he said.
“We share a passion for innovation, research and technology… If India and the US come together, that’s a significant step forward,” the US envoy on climate added.
India is implementing one of the largest renewable energy expansion programmes with a target of achieving 175 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030.
During his visit to India earlier this month, Kerry had said that with the implementation of India’s plan of 450 GW of renewables by 2030, it will be one of the few nations helping in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
He had also said it is not an “absolute requirement” for India to announce a net-zero emission target for 2050, as it is “doing all the things that it needs to”.
On Thursday, Kerry emphasised that President Joe Biden’s upcoming virtual climate summit on April 22-23 is not an effort by the US to prove something.
“Knowing that we are seven months away from a major negotiation internationally, President Biden wants to assist in the process of raising ambitions of countries all around the world. That’s the reason for this summit,” he said.
The president has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Modi, to the virtual summit to underscore the urgency and the economic benefits of stronger climate action.
Kerry said the 2021-2030 decade is “absolutely vital” for the world to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and to achieve net-zero in 2050.
A net-zero target means balancing out the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted into the environment by removing an equivalent volume.
This may be achieved by various modes, including restoring forests or through direct air capture and storage (DACS) technology, according to the World Resources Institute.
According to Climatewatchdata.org, 59 countries, accounting for 54 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have communicated a net-zero target so far.
China has said it will achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. India is the only major player holding out.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had on Wednesday said India is the only G-20 country to walk the talk on the Paris climate agreement and “we have done more than we promised”.
He had said India will continue its fight against climate change but “those who have polluted will have to act more”.
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