India Benefits from U.S. Partnership in Fighting Climate Change

India has the advantage of U.S. as a partner in fighting climate change: Kerry

John Kerry and Prakash Javadekar
John Kerry met with Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday

India is a “red-hot” investment opportunity because of its “clean energy” shift, said U.S. special envoy, suggesting that having the US as a partner in tackling climate change is a unique advantage. In his first public address after reaching Delhi for a four-day visit to prepare for U.S. President Joseph Biden’s Climate Change Summit on April 22, Mr. Kerry said the U.S. is committed to bringing emissions to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, and hoped to help India cut emissions as well.

Mr. Kerry met with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday. He is expected to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State for Renewable Energy R.K. Singh on Wednesday.

“FM underscored the need to enhance financial flows to developing countries beyond $100bn to strengthen climate action,” a Ministry of Finance statement said, underscoring the need for developed countries’ to keep their $100 billion commitment per year to developing countries.

While it is unclear whether he will make any announcements on restoring some of the funding for India that the Trump administration had cancelled, Mr. Kerry is understood to be discussing how to deepen India’s targets for renewable energies, and laying the ground for the COP-26 summit in the UK later in the year as well.

“India has an advantage that we didn’t have in the US as we were developing… Not just the benefits of decades of scientific and technical advancements. You also have the United States as your friend and partner. And we are here to support you on this path to a sustainable future,” Mr. Kerry said in a videotaped message to the U.S. – India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) at a virtual conference for South Asian women involved in the energy industry.

“India has the opportunity to both elevate women’s empowerment, and to avoid the mistakes made by other countries like ours. Instead of building a modern and sustainable society that is the envy of the world, some of us have contributed too much to the problem that we’re living through today,” he added, commending India for its leadership of the International Solar alliance, working towards targets of 450 gigawatts of renewables by 2030, and becoming a global market leader of solar energy storage by 2040.

Calling for more innovation and cooperation between India and the US in order to make a “net zero energy transition”, Mr. Kerry said that the world needs to phase out coal or thermal energy “five times faster” than it has in the period 2013-2018, ramp up renewable energy six times faster and transition to electric vehicles at a rate 22 times faster in order hold global warming increases at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“I want to see want to see India flourish as a place of green tech hub of Asia, producing clean technologies and playing a critical role in global clean supply chains. I believe our two nations, the world’s two biggest democracies have a great deal to gain from joining hands for global leadership to confront the climate crisis and meet the moment,” Mr. Kerry said.

More information

Subscribe to our
Daily Newsletter Weekly Newsletter