PM Modi announces India-U.S. climate partnership

The Prime Minister said he and President Biden are launching the ‘India-US climate and clean energy Agenda 2030 partnership’.

April 22, 2021 07:07 pm | Updated April 23, 2021 01:53 am IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the Leaders' Summit on climate virtually, on April 22, 2021. Twitter/@PMOIndia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the Leaders' Summit on climate virtually, on April 22, 2021. Twitter/@PMOIndia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India and the U.S. were launching an energy and climate partnership during U.S. President Joe Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate , a two-day gathering that included 40 heads of state and government.

Also read:  EU reaches major climate deal ahead of Biden climate summit

“As a climate-responsible developing country, India welcomes partners to create templates of sustainable development in India. These can also help other developing countries, who need affordable access to green finance and clean technologies,” Mr. Modi said via a video link.

“That is why, President Biden and I are launching the ‘India-U.S. climate and clean energy Agenda 2030 partnership’. Together, we will help mobilise investments, demonstrate clean technologies, and enable green collaborations,” he said.

Two main tracks 

The partnership was described in general terms in a joint India-U.S. statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Its goal would be to “mobilise finance and speed clean energy deployment; demonstrate and scale innovative clean technologies needed to decarbonise sectors, including industry, transportation, power, and buildings; and build capacity to measure, manage, and adapt to the risks of climate-related impacts”, as per the statement.

Also read:  Xi to attend Biden’s climate change summit in first meeting of two leaders

“The partnership will proceed along two main tracks: the strategic clean energy partnership and the climate action and finance mobilisation dialogue, which will build on and subsume a range of existing processes,” the statement said. 

“Despite our development challenges, we have taken many bold steps on clean energy, energy efficiency, afforestation and bio-diversity. That is why we are among the few countries whose NDCs are 2-degree-Celsius compatible,” Mr. Modi said during his remarks on Thursday. 

NDCs or Nationally Defined Contributions are targets defined by each country to help achieve the Paris Agreement’s objective of keeping global warming to considerably below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius. India is targeting a 2030 GDP emissions intensity ( i.e., volume of emissions per unit of GDP) that is 33%-35% below 2005 levels. 

It also seeks to have 40% of power generated from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. 

Back to basics

Although China, the U.S. and India are the top three emitters of CO2 in absolute terms, the U.S. has a much greater per capita emission statistic than China and India .  

“Today, as we discuss global climate action, I want to leave one thought with you. India’s per capita carbon footprint is 60% lower than the global average. It is because our lifestyle is still rooted in sustainable traditional practices,” Mr. Modi said, adding that a philosophy of “back to basics” must be an “important pillar of our economic strategy” in the post-COVID-19 era. 

Global economic output and growth in India were decimated last year due to the pandemic.

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