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 Climate Change

Government and Policy
Published on: Sept. 14, 2021, 8:31 p.m.
Kerry launches Indo-US Clean Energy Partnership
  • Yadav and Kerry at the launch of the Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue (CAFMD) in New Delhi; Pix courtesy: PIB

By Business India Editorial

A day after US special envoy for Climate John Kerry launched Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue in New Delhi, a top American senator has introduced a legislation to strengthen Indo-US cooperation on clean energy and climate change.

On Tuesday, Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the Prioritizing Clean Energy and Climate Cooperation with India Act of 2021.

“Given the shared threat of climate change and India’s growing need for electricity, there is a strong case to be made for strengthening the US-India clean energy partnership. In that vein, I am introducing this legislation having witnessed firsthand the positive results that come when our nations work as a team to tackle common challenges,” he said.

“By establishing the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Partnership, we are laying the groundwork for successful partnerships between not only the US and Indian governments, but also our universities and private sectors. I am proud to lead this effort to further strengthen our relationship with India,” Menendez said.

The legislation among other things establishes the United States-India Climate and Clean Energy Partnership (CCEP) as the main forum for cooperation between the US and India on clean energy technologies and energy transmission.

CCEP activities include promoting joint research and development on clean energy technologies, encouraging US private investment in the Indian clean energy market, and supporting initiatives to develop new renewable energy generation capacity in India.

The legislation said India was among the top five clean energy producers globally. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an ambitious domestic target of installing 450 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030,

Installed electricity capacity from renewables in India grew by 144 per cent from 2014 to 2020, and between 2014 and 2019 there was approximately $42 billion in investment in the renewable energy sector in India.

The Bill also promotes sharing of intellectual property between US and Indian private sector entities for renewable energy technology, air-conditioning technology, refrigeration systems technology, and other advanced energy technologies.

Encouraging US private investment in the Indian clean energy technology market, the legislation supports the provision of technical assistance and expertise on electrical grid and energy efficiency improvements in India. It supports initiatives to develop new renewable energy generation capacity in India and requires the administration to submit a multi-year strategy to Congress for implementing the CCEP.

On Monday John Kerry, who was on a three-day visit to India, said that the US would assist India in attracting finance and technology to achieve its 450 GW renewable energy target for 2030.

The prime minister is scheduled to visit to the United States, as well as the COP26 conference in Glasgow in November.

Kerry, along with Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, on Monday launched the Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue between the two countries, which Kerry has called a “powerful avenue for US-India collaboration”. He also met Union Minister for Renewable Energy RK Singh and Foreign Affairs minister S Jaishankar to discuss climate action.

Most powerful goal

Kerry called India’s target of achieving 450 GW renewable energy by 2030 one of the most “powerful goals set in the world’’. “There’s never been a better time to invest in the energy transition. Renewable energy is cheaper than ever. In fact, it is cheaper to build a solar farm in India than anywhere else on the planet. Investors are now flocking to clean energy all around the world and the energy transition is already rebounding after the worst of the pandemic and is now on track to smash the pre-pandemic record of $8.4 billion invested in one year. The international energy agency forecasts that if India seizes the clean energy opportunity, it could become the world’s largest market for batteries and solar panels,’’ said Kerry.

Over the last month, six largest banks in America have all publicly committed that over the next 10 years, they will invest a minimum of $4.16 trillion, in an effort to aid this transition to clean energy, he said, adding that this was a huge economic opportunity for all countries, and that the energy transition to clean energy would lead to many more jobs.

Kerry pointed out that US President Joe Biden has drawn up some ambitious domestic plans, including investing “major new sums of money’’ and infrastructure in research and development programmes that will set new standards for buildings and vehicles, a 2030 target of achieving the sale of 50 per cent electric vehicles of all vehicles sold, and a 2035 target of making the American power sector completely carbon-free, including free of oil, gas and coal.

“No country can do this alone. And the world can’t do it, if everyone doesn’t sign up to the solution. That’s why we have signed up to rally the world, to address this massive challenge and to raise global ambition in the lead up to the meeting in Glasgow,’’ he said.


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