India, US Establish Strategic Partnership on Clean Energy and Climate Change
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The US and India have agreed to a series of sustainable energy and climate change joint measures under a new strategic partnership on energy security, clean energy and climate change.

The announcement was made during the first bilateral summit of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama, which took place from 26-30 September in Washington DC, US.

The two leaders pledged to cooperate on reducing the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by organizing a meeting of a bilateral task force on HFCs in advance of the next meeting of the Montreal Protocol.

india.us1 October 2014: The US and India have agreed to a series of sustainable energy and climate change joint measures under a new strategic partnership on energy security, clean energy and climate change. The announcement was made during the first bilateral summit of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama, which took place from 26-30 September in Washington DC, US.

At the closing of the Summit, the two leaders issued a ‘Vision Statement for the Strategic Partnership’ for strengthened cooperation in the areas of: economic growth; energy and climate change; defense and homeland security cooperation; high technology, space and health cooperation; and global issues and regional consultations.

On energy and climate change, Prime Minister Modi and President Obama agreed to a new strategic partnership, which expands the ‘US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE)’ through priority initiatives, including: the ‘Energy Smart Cities Partnership’ promoting efficient urban energy infrastructure; a program to scale up grid integration of renewable energy in India; and an expansion of the ‘Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE)’ program aimed at unlocking private sector investment and accelerating the adoption of cost-effective, super-efficient appliances.

According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, agreements were also reached on: US$1 billion in concessional financing from the US Export-Import Bank (EXIM) for the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA); upgrading of India’s National Institutes of Wind, Solar and Bio Energy to world standards with US support; the creation of five new energy innovation laboratories in India; and the establishment of a Clean Energy Finance Forum.

In relation to climate change, the two leaders pledged to cooperate on reducing the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by organizing a meeting of a bilateral task force on HFCs in advance of the next meeting of the Montreal Protocol, taking place in November 2014, and subsequently cooperating on next steps to tackle the issue. The bilateral task force will discuss, among other issues, safety, cost and commercial access to new and alternative technologies. The premiers recognized the need to use the institutions and expertise of the Montreal Protocol to reduce HFCs, while reporting and accounting for quantities reduced under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Summit also saw the launch of: the ‘US-India Partnership for Climate Resilience,’ aimed at advancing capacity for adaptation planning; a partnership between India’s Central Pollution Monitoring Board and the US Environment Protection Agency; and the ‘US-India Climate Fellowship Program’ on capacity building on climate change issues.

Also, from 30 September to 1 October, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) North America and Yale University organized the Fifth US-India Energy Partnership Summit in Washington D.C. Discussions under the 2014 theme of ‘Accelerating Resilient Growth and Development’ focused on bilateral cooperation in the energy sector and related areas, including climate change.

Addressing the High Level Corporate Dialogue during the Energy Summit, US Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Ponemon said: “There are huge environmental risks by not building environmentally, or in a way to mitigate climate change. We have every reason to act together.” He also pointed out that “government cannot do it all,” and stressed the need to involve the private sector.

Also speaking at the Summit, Naina Lal Kidwal, Chairman of HSBC India, called for examining innovations and avenues that would enable India to access financing for a “clean energy revolution.” [US-India Joint Statement on US White House Website] [Indian Ministry of External Affairs Media Briefing] [Indian Ministry of External Affairs Press Release] [5th US-India Energy Partnership Summit Website] [TERI North America and Yale University Press Release]


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