John Kerry to Push India on Net Zero Target Ahead of Global Meeting
John Kerry, U.S special presidential envoy for climate, arrives at the Ministry of Finance in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

John Kerry to Push India on Net Zero Target Ahead of Global Meeting

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is in New Delhi this week to push Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to boost its climate ambitions as it considers announcing a net zero target ahead of a virtual summit later this month.

The visit comes ahead of a meeting of leaders from 40 nations organized by U.S. President Joe Biden that will run from April 22-23 aimed at galvanizing efforts to commit to more ambitious climate change mitigation targets, at a time of rising pressure on nations to consider net-zero greenhouse gas emissions targets after China announced its plan last year.

The U.S. plans to work closely with New Delhi and other global partners to drive investment flows toward clean energy opportunities in India so it can play a “critical role in global clean supply chains,” Kerry said in a speech to the South Asia Women in Energy Leadership Summit on Tuesday. He made the comments after meeting Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and officials from the ministries of energy and foreign affairs.

A net zero energy transition will require innovation and scaling up new and improved technologies, he noted. “It is absolutely critical that India, the U.S. and other partners build the advanced, clean industries of the future -- from storage to clean fuels to decarbonized industry.”

India, the world’s third-biggest emitter, has come under pressure to make a net-zero pledge ahead of global climate talks in Glasgow in November. Signatories of the Paris Agreement are expected to boost their commitments to slow global warming after China -- the biggest polluter and India’s rival -- won praise for setting a 2060 net-zero target in September. The U.S. plans to announce an ambitious 2030 emissions target ahead of Biden’s April 22-23 summit.

While no details were available on Kerry’s agenda, he met with Javadekar, who said the twodiscussed a range of issues including climate finance and research.

Kerry -- in India after stopping at Abu Dhabi -- is expected to meet government officials, companies and non-government organizations for consultations. He will travel to Bangladesh from New Delhi before heading back to the U.S. on April 9.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted President Biden’s invitation to attend the Leaders’ Summit on Climate to be held virtually, according to the Indian foreign ministry.

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