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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Climate Summit: PM Modi, Joe Biden launch India-US clean energy initiative

The US pledged to cut emissions by 50 to 52 per cent of its 2005 levels by 2030. This is double the 2015 goal set by former President Barack Obama.

Written by Karishma Mehrotra | Ranchi |
Updated: April 23, 2021 12:06:11 am
US-India, Joe Biden, Blinken, Biden Administration-India, India's emergence as a leading global power, indian expressFile photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden.

PRIME MINISTER Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden launched the India-US Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership at the Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by the US on Thursday.

“Together we will help mobilise investments, demonstrate clean technologies, and enable green collaborations… India’s per capita carbon footprint is 60 per cent lower than the global average. It is because our lifestyle is still rooted in sustainable traditional practices. Today, I want to emphasize the importance of lifestyle change in climate action. Sustainable lifestyles and guiding philosophies and back to basics must be an important feature of our economy in the post-Covid era,” Modi said.

“We in India are doing our part. Our ambitious renewable energy target of 450 gigahertz by 2030 shows our commitment. Despite our development challenges, we have taken many bold steps on clean energy, energy efficiency, deforestation, and biodiversity. That is why we are among the few countries whose NDCs are 2 degrees Celsius compatible.”

Nationally Defined Contributions (NDCs) are each country’s goals towards achieving the Paris Agreement target of limiting rising temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

The Prime Minister also emphasised India’s encouragement of global initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilience Infrastructure.

A joint statement from the US and India said, “The Partnership will proceed along two main tracks: the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership and the Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue, which will build on and subsume a range of existing processes. Through this collaboration, India and the United States aim to demonstrate how the world can align swift climate action with inclusive and resilient economic development, taking into account national circumstances and sustainable development priorities.”

Earlier, Biden and US Vice President Kamala Harris opened the summit.

“You know, these steps will set America on a path of net-zero emissions economy by no later than 2050. But the truth is, America represents less than 15 per cent of the world’s emissions. No nation can solve this crisis on our own, as I know you all fully understand. All of us, all of us – and particularly those of us who represent the world’s largest economies – we have to step up,” Biden said.

The US pledged to cut emissions by 50 to 52 per cent of its 2005 levels by 2030. This is double the 2015 goal set by former President Barack Obama.

The US rejoined the Paris Agreement three months ago, after former President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the multilateral forum made it the only country in the world to do so. Biden’s announcements re-assert the US’s commitment in the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November in Glasgow.

Biden also announced that the US will double its public climate financing development to developing countries and triple public financing for climate application in developing countries by 2024. Harris spoke on addressing the root causes of migration, including droughts, food scarcity, and storms.

China’s President Xi Jinping said: “We must be committed to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities… Developing countries now face multiple challenges to combat Covit-19, grow the economy, and address climate change. We need to give full recognition to developing countries’ contribution to climate action and accommodate their particular difficulties and concerns.”

“Developed countries need to increase climate ambition and action. At the same time, they need to make concrete efforts to help developing countries strengthen the capacity and resilience against climate change, support them in financing, technology, and capacity building, and refrain from creating green trade barriers, so as to help developing countries accelerate the transition to green and low-carbon development.”

He also promoted China’s “green Belt and Road Initiative” and announced efforts to “strictly control coal-fired power generation projects” and phase down coal consumption. China has pledged net zero emissions by 2060.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We were first country to pass legislation for net zero. We have the biggest offshore wind capacity of any country in the world, the Saudi Arabia of wind as I never tire of saying. We’re halfway to net zero.” The UK had announced a target of 78 per cent emission reductions by 2035 (compared to 1990 levels).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country wants to reduce emissions by 55 per cent by 2030 as compared to 1990 levels.

The two-day event will feature 40 heads of state. A set of 101 Nobel laureates, including the Dalai Lama, urged in a letter to the summit’s attendees to take action against the use of fossil fuels.

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