The United States and India on Monday launched their Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue and pledged to enhance actions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on combating global warming.
The CAFMD is one of the two tracks of the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 partnership launched by President Joseph Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April.
During his India visit September 12-14, John Kerry, special presidential envoy for climate, lauded Modi for setting ambitious climate targets.
India, Kerry said, has demonstrated that economic development and clean energy can go hand in hand.
India’s environment minister Bhupender Yadav said the partnership launched “will provide both countries an opportunity to renew collaborations on climate change while addressing the financing aspects.”
He asserted that after enhancing the renewable energy target to 450 GW and realizing the importance of hydrogen as an energy driver in the future, India has launched a Hydrogen Mission.
“I hope this dialogue will work to mobilize and deliver climate finance primarily as grants and concessional finance, as envisaged under Paris Agreement to strengthen climate action,” the minister said.
“Every economic study shows that it is far less expensive to deal with climate crisis now that it will be away in a future. If India seizes the energy opportunity, it could become the world’s largest market for batteries and solar panels,” Kerry said even as he reminded that it is not just renewable energy, but “we need to develop, demonstrate and scale-up emerging technologies that will be crucial for net-zero transition”.
Sameer Kwatra, acting director at Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington DC, welcomed the initiative by both the governments.
“The world needs urgent and stronger response to climate change from all major countries and the US-India engagement is a good sign ahead of the climate talks in Glasgow,” Kwatra told indica News.
“Finance has been one of the big commitments developed countries had made under the Paris Agreement which is still only partially fulfilled,” he added.
Asked if the US had committed to any sum, Kwatra said: “While there’s no direct commitment from the US to India on climate finance, developed countries had committed mobilizing $100 billion annually to support climate actions in the rest of the world.”
India, he said, “needs nearly $20-$30 billion annually in investment until 2030 to meet it’s 450GW renewable energy target.”
He added: “Climate finance is not just grants or aid, however. It is an opportunity for increased investment and financial innovation. Both the US and India need to solidify their partnership and focus on implementing these new initiatives that have recently been announced.”
According to the Ohio-headquartered Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) report published in April this year said India requires $400-500 billion to achieve its 450-gigawatt (GW) renewable energy target by 2030.
The India Energy Outlook 2021 – a special report in the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s World Energy Outlook series – said India, the world’s third-largest energy-consuming country, is set to see the largest increase in energy demand of any country over the next 20 years.
Kerry has visited Korea, Argentina, Japan and China over the last few days to continue vital discussions on reducing emissions and raising ambition ahead of the annual climate summit called the Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) is to be held in Glasgow from October 31.
It is being looked at as a last-ditch effort to bring around countries to enhance their emission targets to keep the global temperatures from rising to beyond 1.5-degree Celsius.
Dr. Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agencywrote: “All roads to successful global clean energy transitions go via India.”