'Agreement on climate change solidifies India's commitment'

The announcements by India to boost cooperation with the US in clean energy and confront climate change solidifies New Delhi's commitment to expand its share of renewable energy, an American think-tank said on Sunday.

PTI| Updated: Jan 26, 2015, 01:21 AM IST

Washington: The announcements by India to boost cooperation with the US in clean energy and confront climate change solidifies New Delhi's commitment to expand its share of renewable energy, an American think-tank said on Sunday.

"This agreement further solidifies India's significant commitment to expand its share of renewable energy," said Manish Bapna, executive vice president and managing director of World Resources Institute (WRI).

Bapna said in setting a national renewable energy target, India will boost its economy and bring "more and cleaner electricity to its people."

"This suite of actions reflects India's multi-pronged approach to limit carbon emissions and shift to a more sustainable economic pathway," he said.

"Today's announcement demonstrates a transition from intention to an action plan for execution."

India and the US today agreed to make "concrete progress" in phasing out major greenhouse gases. They agreed to expand solar energy initiatives and launch joint projects to improve air quality in Indian cities.

Bapna said the new partnership "to stimulate private and public investment into renewable energy" will play a pivotal role in India reaching its 100 GW solar goal.

"India's move to allow import of foreign-made solar panels also opens a major new market for America's growing renewable energy industry," he said.

Obama during his ongoing trip to India as chief guest for Republic Day celebrations, agreed to accelerate clean energy finance by placing a field investment officer in India by summer.

The suite of clean energy initiatives announced include new bilateral efforts to generate investments in renewable energy, build smarter cities and curb urban air pollution.

Both leaders also agreed to cooperate closely over the next year to achieve a successful outcome at the Paris climate summit.

"With a quarter of India's population living without electricity, its efforts to address climate change need to promote economic development and alleviate poverty," Bapna said.

The WRI said the agreement to make further progress on phasing out HFCs is another important step to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Noting that this announcement builds on the progress made between the US and China, WRI said the Obama administration is demonstrating a real commitment to work with multiple major countries to drive greater international action on climate change.

"Ongoing, direct engagement between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi can set the stage for a higher level of cooperation in the lead up to a global climate agreement later this year," Bapna said.