U.S. to Help India With Funds, Tech as It Seeks COP26 Support

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry (Left) with India's Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav. (Source: Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change)

U.S. to Help India With Funds, Tech as It Seeks COP26 Support

The U.S. will partner with India to mobilize funds and technology to help the world’s third-biggest emitter step up efforts to fight global warming, climate envoy John Kerry said ahead of crucial global talks next month.  

Kerry, who lauded India’s target of 450GW of renewable energy by 2030 after meeting with environment minister Bhupender Yadav, cited U.S. banks’ $4.2 trillion commitment for clean energy over the next decade. Efforts are on to push India -- seen as a key holdout for an ambitious climate deal -- with incentives as nations prepare for COP26. 

The Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialog launched on Monday will help India muster resources and technology to help decarbonize its economy, Kerry said. The world has to take action to reduce carbon pollution in the near-term, as well as agree to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, he said.

“No country can do this alone,” Kerry said. “And the world can’t do it if everybody doesn’t sign up to be part of the solution.”

Kerry’s visit to India, his second this year, is part of attempts to build consensus ahead of the United Nations climate summit that is set to start in Glasgow, Scotland on Oct. 31. He has been criss-crossing the globe, including recent visits to Japan and China, seeking more measures for cutting emissions. Monday’s initiative responds to India’s calls for technology and financial assistance to meet energy transition goals. 

The pressure on India to commit to a net-zero emissions target is high, with China having announced its own program for 2060. India has been reluctant to commit to a timeline and has instead urged G-20 nations to make a pledge that focused on per-capita emissions.

The world risks breaching the 1.5°C threshold for global warming by 2040, although a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions could contain the temperature rise and bring it back below that mark, according to the latest report by United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, India had pledged to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by as much as 35% below the 2005 levels by 2030. It also aimed to raise the non-fossil share of power generation capacity to 40% by 2030. The country says it’s on track to exceed both those commitments.

The country is also seeking foreign investments to support its green hydrogen expansion plan that could help replace fossil fuels with clean energy in hard-to-abate sectors, such as steel-making and long-haul transport.

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