A decision on whether the US will join the India-led International Solar Alliance will be taken within weeks, before the next United Nations Climate Change Conference that will be held in Glasgow from October 31, John Kerry, Special US Envoy on Climate, has told NDTV. “I think Glasgow has got to be the deadline on whether or not we’re going to do that or not,” Mr Kerry said.
The International Solar Alliance is an alliance of 124 countries led by India. Most member nations lie completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The objective of the alliance is to work for efficient consumption of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
India has said it is on track to achieve the renewable energy target of 450 Gigawatt by 2030, with a plan that relies mostly on solar power. This will pave the way for India to achieve the sub 2 degree Celsius level – far more than committed under the Paris Climate Accord.
On the argument that India is now being asked to become a zero net carbon emitter, despite countries like the United States having some of the most polluting economies — which triggered their economic growth in the first place — Mr Kerry said he understood India’s point of view.
“The problem is that mother nature does not measure whether it’s Indian gases or Chinese gases… It is the total amount that we have to deal with,” Mr Kerry said.
But he also acknowledged that no single country can reduce emissions enough to solve the problem.
“And so yes, there’s a reason to be concerned about the fact that India is still developing, but the choice is not between developing and not developing. We can address the climate crisis and develop at the same time, and we can do it in a responsible way with many of the new technologies,” he added.
Yesterday, the environment ministry said India has informed the US about the intention to move towards a clean energy transition.
The US has been asked to send companies to participate in the bids for Green Hydrogen and Electrolyzers that will be sought over the coming months, since India’s biggest challenge for infusing of Renewable Energy was “Storage” which needs to be addressed immediately, the ministry said.
Mr Kerry said there is a need to bring down the costs of key, environmentally friendly technology in the power sector.
”All of us need to act… because the world’s best scientists, including scientists from India, are telling us we only have a short window of time within which to make decisions and implement them to avoid the worst consequences of the crisis.”
Asked about the recent freak weather patterns, observed in many nations including India, he attributed it to the warming of the oceans. This, he said, is resulting in more moisture rising to the atmosphere, traveling around the world and “dumping record levels”.
“We have had them in the United States, too. So between the fires, the drought, the floods, the mudslides, the warming, the glaciers melting, and so forth… it is beyond time for people to get serious,” he added.