India ‘getting the job done’ on climate crisis, says John Kerry
The United States’s special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry on Tuesday praised India for “getting the job done on climate”, calling the country a world leader in renewables as he began talks aimed at cutting carbon emissions amid growing concerns over global warming.
Kerry is on a four-day visit to India from April 5 to April 8, during which he will meet representatives from the government, the private sector and NGOs.
On Tuesday, Kerry called on India to join hands with the US to confront the climate crisis through a clean energy transition. “Our two nations, world’s two biggest democracies have a great deal to gain by joining hands and global leadership to confront climate change now. We must do this,” Kerry said in his address to the South Asia Women in Energy (SAWIE) Leadership Summit.
Earlier in the day, Kerry met Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar for climate talks ahead of US President Biden’s summit on climate, which will be held on April 22-23.
“Had an engaging and fruitful discussion with Mr John Kerry. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. We discussed a range of issues including climate finance, joint research and collaboration etc,” Javadekar tweeted after the meeting.
In his address to the SAWIE Summit, Kerry said: “I am particularly grateful that India is getting the job done on climate, pushing the curve, you are indisputably world leader already in the deployment of renewable energy and your leadership on the International Solar Alliance promises to advance clean energy across India and other dynamic growing economies.”
“Decisive action by India will determine what this sustainable transformation will mean for generations to come. India has the opportunity to both elevate women’s empowerment and to avoid the mistakes made by other countries like ours,” he said.
According to a senior environment ministry official, one of the key objectives of Kerry’s visit is to get India to join the countries that have announced a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. In September 2020, China announced that it will peak its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. The White House announced on January 27 that President Biden will take steps to put the US on an “irreversible path” to a net zero economy by 2050. Consequently, Biden has also called for a summit of major emitting nations in order to persuade them to commit to ambitious mitigation targets.
“A net-zero target is not a trivial endeavour for any country – especially for a lower-middle income country like India that has the dual challenge of providing modern energy services to millions while protecting the environment. We will need a number of technologies to become better and cheaper...,” said Ulka Kelkar, director, climate at World Resources Institute.