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US climate envoy Kerry offers India help to meet 450 GW renewables target


Climate action dialogue launched

PM Modi to visit US in next few days

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry offered technological and financial support for India's renewables sector, which is eyeing a goal of 450 GW by 2030, at a Sept. 13 meeting with Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav.

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Kerry was visiting India to discuss climate action ahead of the UN Conference of the Parties -- COP26 -- in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, after recent visits to China and Japan to build consensus on the UN's net-zero emissions target by 2050.

Launching a new Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue in New Delhi, Kerry said the dialogue was "one of the two main tracks of the agenda of a 2030 Partnership that we have created. The other part is the strategic energy partnership."

India, the world's third-largest emitter of CO2 behind China and the US, has pushed back on diplomatic pressure to set a net-zero target, choosing to pursue a 450 GW renewables power target by 2030 and reductions in emissions intensity.

India's installed capacity for renewable power is 100 GW and industry observers say large corporate groups such as Adani, JSW and Reliance Industries, combined with small and mid-sized renewable energy firms, could help meet the 2030 target.

"We are absolutely confident that the 450 GW as a goal can and will be reached and we look forward to partnering with India ... to bring finance and technology and other elements to the table in order to achieve it," Kerry said.

Talks on partnerships would continue and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the US in a few days, he said.

Kerry said US was investing in clean energy R&D and infrastructure and was working on the technology for direct capture of CO2 from the environment.

"Environment negotiations are economic negotiations," said Chandra Bhushan, President & CEO of the International Forum for Environment, Sustainability & Technology, expressing skepticism about Kerry's visit and the bid to push India to speed up decarbonization.

India accounts for 7% of global CO2 emissions from energy combustion, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics Global Integrated Energy Model.

India's emissions are set to continue rising through to 2040 under the GIEM's reference scenario, driven up by growing use of coal in power generation and industry and of oil in transport.