Success of world in facing the climate crisis will in part depend on decisions taken by India: US

Washington: The success of the world in combating the climate crisis will in part depend on decisions taken by India, a senior US official has said, as he vowed to work with New Delhi and other countries in achieving the ambitious targets.

These remarks were made by US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Donald Lu, who in an interview with PTI said that the US is determined to support that effort through technology and through financing.

“I would say none (of the issues) is more important than the climate crisis. The success of the world in facing the climate crisis will in part depend on decisions taken by India, Lu said.

“And we have so much respect for the Prime Minister’s pledge to create 500 gigawatts of non-fossil fuel capacity in India by 2030,” he said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious energy transition goal.

“Our teams are working every day on this challenge together and I have great confidence that working together not only between the United States and India, but India and the rest of the world that we will reach these really ambitious targets,” he said.

Responding to a question, Lu said the future of the planet in part depends “on the ability of India to lead” the way in green energy.

“I love some of the things that leading industrialists in India are saying today, which is that India will not only produce enough green energy for itself, India wants to be the biggest green energy exporter for the world,” he said.

“That’s something that we should be fully behind as people who care about this climate crisis,” Lu said.

India and the US have a strong bilateral partnership in the energy sector. In April 2021, the US and India launched the “US-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership,” with two tracks i.e. Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP); and Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD).

The SCEP Ministerial Meeting twice so far, most recently in October 2022 led by the US Energy Secretary and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The SCEP has five pillars: 1) Power & Energy Efficiency, 2) Renewable Energy, 3) Responsible Oil & Gas, 4) Sustainable Growth, and 5) Emerging Fuels and Technologies (hydrogen biofuels and waste to energy).

An Energy Storage Task Force was launched to support the large-scale integration of renewable energy needed to support the clean energy transition.

Further, a US-India Natural Gas Task Force was set up to support India’s vision for transitioning into a natural gas-based economy, MoU on Strategic Petroleum Reserves for cooperation on Strategic Petroleum Reserves operation and maintenance was signed. A public-private Hydrogen Task Force enables the scaling of technologies to produce hydrogen from renewable energy.

The inaugural CAFMD meeting was held on 13 September 2021 in Delhi chaired by Special Envoy on Climate John Kerry and Ministers of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change. Both sides agreed to proceed with three pillars of cooperation, viz, Climate Track, Finance Mobilization and Adaptation and Resilience.

The US joined the International Solar Alliance in November 2021 and ratified the ISA Agreement in September 2022.