Modi announces India-US partnership on climate and clean energy, pitches for ‘back to basics’ philosophy to fight climate change | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced launch of the ‘India-US climate and clean energy Agenda 2030 partnership’ which can be a template of green collaborations to help developing countries access to affordable green finance and clean technologies, and appealed world leaders to make current decade as “decade of action” against climate change.
“Together, we will help mobilise investments, demonstrate clean technologies, and enable green collaborations,” said Modi while addressing virtual leaders’ summit on climate, convened by US president Joe Biden.
Modi also urged nations to adopt “sustainable lifestyles” and a guiding philosophy of “back to basics” as an important pillar of economic strategy for the post-Covid era, even as few countries including the US, Japan and Canada announced their enhanced climate action plans to substantially cut their carbon footprints by 2030.
The India-US collaboration on clean energy is expected to play an important role in helping India fulfil its ambitious renewable energy goal of reaching 450GW by 2030.
Aim of the leaders’ summit is to galvanise efforts by the major economies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and meet the targets of the Paris Agreement to keep temperature rise to well below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, and make efforts to keep it below 1.5 degree C rise.
Though India, as expected, did not make any fresh commitment, it emphasised how its earlier pledge is ambitious enough to keep it well on track to fulfill its Paris Agreement commitments.
Underlining that the concrete action is needed for humanity to combat Climate Change, Modi said, “We need such action at a high speed, on a large scale, and with a global scope. We, in India, are doing our part. Our ambitious renewable energy target of 450 Gigawatts by 2030 shows our commitment.”
Amid a clamour for ‘net-zero’ emission goal (emission minus reduction of GHG amounts to zero) where many stakeholders want India to pledge higher climate action targets, Modi said, “Despite our development challenges, we have taken many bold steps on clean energy, energy efficiency, afforestation and bio-diversity. That is why we are among the few countries whose NDCs (nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement) are 2-degree-Celsius compatible.”
Seeking to remind the world of the country’s low contribution to the overall problem, the Prime Minister said, “India’s per capita carbon footprint is 60% lower than the global average. It is because our lifestyle is still rooted in sustainable traditional practices.
“So today, I want to emphasise the importance of lifestyle change in climate action. Sustainable lifestyles and a guiding philosophy of ‘back to basics’ must be an important pillar of our economic strategy for the post-Covid era.”
Quoting Swami Vivekananda’s words – “Arise, awake and stop not until the goal is reached”, he appealed to the world leaders to make this a “decade of action” against climate change.
Just ahead of the summit, Biden announced the US’ new climate commitment under the Paris Agreement, which includes a target to cut GHG emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030. As new commitment nearly doubles the country’s emissions reduction target for 2025 set by the Obama administration in 2015, the upgraded target may help reduce the 2030 global emission gap by 5-10%. The biggest historical polluter US will also double its climate finance contributions by 2024.
Japan too raised its mitigation goal by committing emission cuts by 46-50% below 2013 levels by 2030 at a time when developing countries asking for more steep cuts from the rich ones, blaming them for their historical polluting activities that led to climate change. Earlier, Japan had a target of only 26% emission cut from 2013 level by 2030
Canada raised its ambition, promising 40-45% emission cuts from 2005 levels by 2030. This is an increase from Canada’s current target of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Though the biggest current emitter China did now announce any formal cut, it promised to limit its coal consumption with a target to peak its coal consumption by 2025.

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