'Red hot investment': US Envoy John Kerry lauds India's energy policy
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry lauded India's efforts to emerge as a global leader in renewable energy with some of the biggest companies signing a declaration on climate change and pledging to go carbon neutral.
Kerry is on a four-day visit to India, from April 5 to April 8, during which he will meet representatives from the Union government, the private sector and NGOs.
"India is getting the job done on climate, pushing the curve. You (India) are indisputably a world leader already in the deployment of renewable energy," Kerry said. Kerry was speaking in Delhi, where he held talks with government leaders as part of a diplomatic effort to get countries to commit themselves to net zero carbon emissions and slow down global warming.
"India, in particular, is a red hot investment opportunity because of its clean energy transition. Indian industry is already stepping up and demonstrating leadership," US envoy was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Kerry pointed out how a recent International Energy Agency's special report on India noted that that the country is on pace to become global market leader in solar and storage by 2040. "Thanks to your rapid scale-up, it is already cheaper to build solar energy in India than anywhere else in the world," Kerry said.
Kerry was accompanied by a seven-member US delegation in the talks, an environment ministry official said.
Praising Prime Minister Narendr Modi's policy goals on renewable energy by 2030, Kerry said that the announcement of a target of 450 GW of renewables by 2030 sets a very strong example of power how to power a growing economy with clean energy.
Decisive action by India, Kerry said, in partnership with the rest of the world will determine what this transformation will mean for generations to come.
Striking a comparision between US and India, Kerry said that India has an advantage that US did not have during the developing stage. "Not just benefits of decades of scientific and technical advancement, you also have US as your friend and partner. We're here to support you through this path of sustainable future," Kerry said.
Backing India's efforts across the spectrum globally, Kerry said that the country's global leadership has been critical across a range of issues including delivering Covid-19 vaccines to world.
This is also Kerry's first visit to India as the US Special Envoy for Climate Change. In January, the Biden administration had re-joined the Paris Agreement.
The visit aims at consultations on increasing climate ambition ahead of Biden's Leaders' Summit on Climate scheduled for April 22-23 and the COP26 meet to be held later this year.
US President Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to a US-hosted virtual summit on climate to underscore the urgency and the economic benefits of stronger climate action.
This will be the second time PM Modi and US President Biden will be together at a virtual summit after last month's Quad meeting.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), India is the third-largest global emitter of carbon dioxide, after China and the US, despite extremely low per capita CO2 emissions.
It has set a target of achieving 175GW (gigawatt) of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450GW by 2030.
(With inputs from agencies)