NEW DELHI: Putting at rest speculation that US special climate envoy John Kerry was in India to pressure the Indian government to make a ‘net-zero’ pledge, Kerry said on Thursday, “That was not my message with the Prime Minister.”
“He understands the challenge. It would be great if India wanted to say that but I don’t think it’s an absolute requirement. India is doing all the things it needs to do to get us there (to ‘net-zero’). India has a plan right now for 450 GW. If 450 GW of renewable power is put into place, India would be one of the few nations helping to keep 1.5 degrees alive,” said Kerry.
Speaking with a group of journalists after his three-day visit to India, Kerry added, “What is more important than making a pledge is real actions now from 2020-2030. Our challenge over the next few months is to get more people engaged in the 2020-2030 decade. That’s what President Biden is trying to do with the summit he’s hosting, where he’s asking nations to up their ambition. The summit will have major economies of the world come together virtually and every head of state will have an opportunity to say what their plans are going forward.”
Questioned about his remarks that he was putting together a consortium to finance India’s renewable energy ambitions, Kerry said, Modi’s goal of getting 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, was “terrific, powerful”. “We want to make sure we can help reach that goal — that’s part of our partnership.”
He said there are lots of countries who would be willing to invest in India’s green energy ambitions “if there are right investment conditions.”
He went on, “The agreement at our discussion yesterday we intend to work very closely with India, focusing on technology and financing.” UAE, he said, is one of the countries with whom India is already working and who is interested in doing more. “I’ve also talked to other countries — some in Europe, some in our continent who are prepared to come forward.”
“The bottomline is, we need to work through some of the details with the Modi government. We’ve already started that and will continue through the next few weeks. The clock is ticking on Glasgow (COP 26) and 2030.”
Meanwhile, giving an official readout of Kerry’s visit, the MEA spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, said, “Given our complementary strengths, Prime Minister and Special Envoy Kerry agreed to collaborate on a 2030 Agenda, with focus on clean and green energy through enhancing the availability of climate finance, building resilient infrastructure, energy storage and green hydrogen.”