Green and Clean: US envoy says all eyes on India on climate change action

richard vermaGreen is the colour of the emerging India-US partnership. Underlining the centrality of India to the success of the global climate deal in Paris, the US has said that it regards India as its “best partner” and exhorted New Delhi to take the leadership role in curbing global warming.

US ambassador to India Richard Verma, the first Indian-origin envoy of Washington in New Delhi, stressed that the whole world is watching what India will do to help fructify the promise of an international climate deal.

“We’re not the only ones that are interested. India’s size, economic growth projections, and already significant greenhouse gas emissions means there is tremendous interest around the world regarding what India will do,” Mr Verma said at a conference themed “Green – the Color of Growth: The Business Case for Climate Action” at a luxury hotel in the Indian capital.

The envoy underscored the US’ interest in India’s future steps, and said it considered India as the “best partner in an entire array of areas and would also like to discuss and tackle the toughest issues on the planet.

The ambassador added that said that the US would like to work closely with India to tackle climate change, where the two countries will look to promote the transition to a low carbon and a clean energy future. He praised India’s recent proposal to the leading countries to cut down their use of HFCs: gases used in air conditioner, refrigerator and other insulating forms that are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Verma added that there is an essential need for the whole world to play a leadership role to effectively tackle climate change through innovation, partnership, and a commitment to a cleaner future.

Ahead of the crucial climate meet to be held in Paris later this year, the envoy pointed out that India is yet to submit its “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) – a voluntary commitment to take steps for clean energy, and produce greenhouse gas emissions.

The US envoy made a robust pitch for forging wide-ranging partnership between India and the US in green energy collaboration.

Over the next twenty years global investment in the energy sector is expected to reach nearly $17 trillion. That’s more than the entire GDP of China and India combined,” said the envoy. “As Prime Minister Modi seeks to implement Smart Cities, Make in India, the Clean India/Swachh Bharat campaign, and works to deploy his goal of 175 Gigawatts (Gw) of clean, renewable energy by 2022 (Note:100 Gw of Solar, 60 Gw of Wind and 15 Gw of Biomass), there will be countless opportunities to utilize cleaner technologies that are more energy and cost efficient. Designing and producing these technologies will take vision and innovation. But they can have a profound impact on the overall goals of upgrading India’s infrastructure and improving the quality of life for hundreds of millions of Indians all around the country.”

“The innovations that India can use to become smarter, cleaner, more productive, and more profitable, should be attractive to a global community concerned about this issue. Just as in any sector, the most successful companies will be those that constantly innovate rather than those that fight for diminishing market shares for older, less-desirable technologies,” he said.

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