This week, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with President Barack Obama to discuss ways for India to scale up its use of renewable energy. The White House released a statement about “the deepening strategic relationship” between the two countries, which will result, in part, in the $20 million U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative expected to mobilize up to $400 million to provide clean energy for up to 1 million households by 2020.
Industry observers think the prime minister is eager to finish deals in case Donald Trump takes office. Trump has said he would withdraw from the Paris agreement. While the New York Times reports he hasn’t focused on India much, his comments regarding topics like climate change and immigration worry Indian leaders. One associate from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said Prime Minister Modi “wants to get as much as he can out of Obama’s last months in office.”
According to a panel hosted by the World Resources Institute, if India is to meet their climate goals, they’ll likely need American investment. Ajay Mathur, India’s chief spokesperson at the Paris talks, said U.S. investment with reasonable interest rates is crucial so India can reach their goal of 100 gigawatts in solar power by 2022 and Indian citizens can access that clean energy. Around 240 million people in India still lack electricity, making such a partnership all the more important.
According to a joint statment, “The United States and India share common climate change and clean energy interests and are close partners in the fight against climate change…India and the United States recognize the urgency of climate change and share the goal of enabling entry into force of the Paris Agreement as early as possible.”
For the Paris agreement to take effect, 55 countries emitting a minimum of 55 percent of global emissions must ratify the agreement. So far, 34 countries, which account for 49 percent of emissions, have formally joined.
Via New Scientist