The United States applauds Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s continued focus on promoting clean energy in his country despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic– said a high-ranking official.
Testifying in front of a congressional committee on Thursday, Jonathan Pershing, senior adviser to the Special Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry, said the US and India are loyal partners on climate issues. “We welcome Prime Minister Modi’s continued focus on clean energy transformation in India, despite the serious challenges posed by the Covid crisis in that country,” Pershing told lawmakers.
In April, the two governments signed the US-India Partnership for the 2030 Climate and Clean Energy Agenda. According to Pershing, through the partnership, both sides have set the 2030 cleantech and climate change agenda.
“The focus will be on cooperation in creating regulatory and market conditions to stimulate the necessary investment to meet India’s 450 GW renewable energy deployment target. If this is achieved, India will make fundamental changes in both its energy security and the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions, ”he said.
Sherri Goodman, secretary general of the International Military Council for Climate and Security, told lawmakers that climatic factors are also affecting tensions between nuclear-armed neighbors India, Pakistan and China.
A joint study published earlier this year by the Strategic Risk Board and the Woodwell Climate Research Center predicts a strong warming trend near the disputed border between India and China, where an estimated 100,000 Indian and Chinese troops are stationed up to 15,000 feet, she said.
Military patrols, which are not viable today, could become more frequent, creating conditions for potential violent clashes, she said.
“Meanwhile, China is planning to build the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant north of the confluence of the Brahmaputra River in India, in part due to its switch to renewable energy sources. This new dam project, three times the size of the Three Gorges Dam, is located in a seismically sensitive area, ”said Goodman. “This has raised serious concerns in downstream India, which is also concerned that the new Chinese dam could be used to either pump water from India or flood parts of it. In truth, it will be difficult to tell if the future flooding is the result of Chinese dam manipulation or climate-related factors. China’s lack of transparency regarding dam projects affecting its neighbors only adds to India’s mistrust, ”she said.
China is also building a series of dams in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, which India opposes because of its territorial claims there. These dams, when built, will be viable for the rest of the century, Goodman said, due to predicted patterns of glacier melting.
“Such construction will further strengthen the Sino-Pakistani partnership, while exacerbating tensions between the two countries in relations with India. Each of these disputes lacks universally trusted data sources and institutions that can manage resource disputes, ”she said.
Craig Hart, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Asia Bureau of the United States Agency for International Development, said USAID is partnering with the Indian government to improve the restoration and management of more than 1 million hectares of India’s forests to increase carbon emissions. sequestration, increasing water from forests, and strengthening the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities in the three states, improving practices that New Delhi will scale across the country.
“The new USAID / India program Trees Beyond Forests in India will stimulate the growth of forest cover on private land on a scale from household to commercial,” he said.
“USAID helped India launch a national commercial building retrofit program to improve energy efficiency and air quality and thus opened up tremendous business opportunities for US companies in a country whose air conditioner market is growing 15 percent a year,” he said.
For example, USAID support prompted a leading energy efficiency program in India to request a US $ 10 million contract, which was eventually awarded to the US Carrier Global Corporation, to install and maintain filtration systems and monitors in existing air conditioning systems in buildings in and around New Delhi, Hart said.