India-US partnership key to moving quickly on climate change: Kerry

Lalit K Jha
·3-min read

Washington, Apr 8 (PTI) America needs India at the table as its partner to achieve the goals of faster deployment of the new energy market, the faster reduction in emissions and a more rapid industrial transformation, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said on Thursday.

Addressing a small group of Indian business leaders at the Roosevelt House at the US Embassy compound in New Delhi, where he is currently travelling, Kerry described the goals of the Biden administration on climate change.

“We know what needs to happen—what the goal is. It’s the faster deployment of the new energy market, the faster reduction in emissions and more rapid industrial transformation,” Kerry said.

“I came to India at the President’s request because to achieve this goal, we need India at the table as our partner. We have to figure out how we mobilise its state governments,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by Chamber of Commerce’s US-India Business Council (USIBC), which co-hosted the event along with the United States Embassy in India.

Kerry also emphasised the need to move quickly to reduce emissions.

“The structural pieces need to change so we can move very rapidly. What we have to do between 2020 and 2030. We are in an urgent situation, but it is doable, the fix, but only if we do it now. I think India and the United States cooperating can be very powerful for bringing down emissions and bringing them down fast,” he said.

Kerry, a former Secretary of State, also acknowledged the importance of the assembled business leaders and the US-India Business Council in achieving this goal.

“The problem is resolvable with coordination and leadership. We need to cooperate in the most effective way we can. We need to have the right input; we need to have the right direction and I hope you can help us.

“We don’t pretend to have all the answers. We need your wisdom. We need your thoughts on how to tackle this in the most thoughtful and effective way possible. The US-India Business Council’s relationship with India is therefore very important,” he said.

USIBC’s deputy managing director Alexander Slater said that by rapidly reducing the carbon intensity of economic growth and job creation were critical to the survival and the greatest economic opportunity of lifetimes.

“We’ll work with both the Indian and US governments to get the right policies and regulations in place to advance these goals,” he said.

“As India transitions towards becoming a global e-mobility hub, consumer sentiment for EVs currently is at an all-time high leading towards a stronger adoption for cleaner modes of transport,” said Naveen Munjal, managing director of Hero Electric.

“The cost of ownership, developing EV infrastructure, increasing pollution levels and the need for personal mobility will further drive a stronger demand for electric vehicles,” Munjal said.

Pratik Agarwal, MD of Sterlite Power Transmission said that deep penetration of renewables was only possible if large grids of the world are interconnected.

India must immediately embark on its mission of “One Sun, One World, One Grid” in collaboration with large energy hubs like the GCC and the United States, Agarwal said.

Net Zero transition of the industry can be facilitated by enabling Green Technologies, Green Grants & Finance, International Carbon Markets and Green Procurement Policies, said Mahendra Singhi, MD and CEO, Dalmia.

According to Nitin Prasad, chairman, Shell India, a net-zero carbon growth strategy targeting 2050 is required with sectoral decarbonisation pathways for each area of the economy.

“Dialogue between governments is important to converge on actions to tackle climate change, and the industry has an equally important role in developing and implementing decarbonization plans that support the deployment of innovative and integrated lower-carbon solutions,” he said. PTI LKJ MRJ AKJ MRJ MRJ