India and America to Fight Global Warming
India and the United States of America (USA) on September 13 launched the “Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD)”.
The CAFMD is one of the two tracks of the India-U.S. Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 partnership launched at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April 2021, by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and US President Mr. Joseph Biden.
The dialogue was formally launched by Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Shri Bhupender Yadav and Mr. John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC), at an event held in New Delhi.
Speaking at the launch, Shri Yadav said that the dialogue will not only strengthen India-US bilateral cooperation on climate and environment but will also help 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.
“India and the United States are natural partners with shared values and our agenda encompasses all major pillars of our strategic priorities – including defence, security, energy, technology, education and healthcare,” said the Environment Minister, emphasizing on the deep ties shared by the two mature and vibrant democracies.
Yadav underlined how Yadav said India was working proactively working towards tackling climate change challenges and reducing carbon emissions. India is already an attractive destination for global clean energy investments, the minister said adding: “I hope this dialogue will work to mobilise and deliver climate finance primarily as grants and concessional finance, as envisaged under the Paris Agreement to strengthen climate action.”
Speaking at the launch of Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD), Mr. Kerry applauded Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for setting an ambitious target of achieving 450GW renewable energy by 2030 and congratulated India for already achieving 100 GW.
The US Climate envoy lauded India’s leadership role in demonstrating how economic development and clean energy can go hand in hand and stated that urgent Global Climate Action is the need of the hour.
He stressed that India and US are working towards speedier deployment of clean energy. He said the US looked forward to partnering India to bring finances and technology that would help Asia’s third largest economy transition from sources of energy like coal to greener options.
Kerry called for urgent action to address climate change especially against the backdrop of the UN’s climate panel warning last month that limiting global warming to close to 1.5 degrees Celsius or even 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels “will be beyond reach” in the next two decades without immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
“Floods, forest fires, record levels of rainfall are happening everywhere and to keep 1.5 degree warming limit in reach, and avoid more catastrophic consequences, we must act now,” Kerry said, adding , “ there has never been a better time to invest in energy transition. Renewable energy is cheaper than ever. Investors are flocking for clean energy all around the world.”
The CAFMD has three parts – the first being the climate action segment under which the US and India would develop proposals to curb emissions, Kerry said. The second was finance mobilization which would focus on attracting capital and technologies for India to scale up its renewable energy generation to its announced generation target of 450 GigaWatts. Over the past months, six of the largest banks in America had publicaly committed to investing a minimum of $ 4.16 trillion in the next 10 years to make the transition happen, the US envoy said. The third was climate adaptation and resilience that included efforts like extending India’s forest cover, he said.
The launch was preceded by a bilateral meet where both sides discussed at length a wide range of climate issues relating to COP26, Climate Ambition, Climate Finance, Global Climate Initiatives including International Solar Alliance (ISA), Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C).
It may be noted that Kerry’s visit to India, his second since being named special envoy earlier this year, is part of US’ efforts to prepare for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, or COP26, to be held in Glasgow between 31 October-12 November.
Last week, Kerry had traveled to Japan and China for talks. India is seen as the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases after China and the US though with far lower emissions per capita than the other two countries. According to media reports, Kerry has previously spoken of US and allied nations raising a “huge amount” of private sector investment to support India’s efforts to combat global warming.