Envoy Sandhu pushes for India-US green partnership  

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Over the past few years, green growth and combating climate change has emerged as one of the core pillars of the India-US relationship….reports Asian Lite News

The relationship between India and the United States will be an important pillar in realising a greener and sustainable future for the world, according to New Delhi’s top envoy here. India is expected to witness the largest increase in energy demand of any country by 2040. To meet growth in electricity demand over the next 20 years, India will need to add a power system the size of the European Union to what it has now.

“India’s partnership with the United States will be an important pillar in realising a greener and sustainable future for the world,” India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, wrote in an op-ed published by the Newsweek magazine on Monday. “In their national and international efforts to advance climate action, India and the US have been working closely at the bilateral, plurilateral and global levels,” Sandhu wrote.

“In April 2021, India and the US launched the Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership, with two main tracks—the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership and the Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue,” he said. Through these measures, the two countries seek to mobilise finance and accelerate clean energy deployment, demonstrate and scale innovative clean technologies and build capacities, he added.

As India transitions to gas-based fuels, it is now the fifth-largest market for US LNG, he said, adding that through the India-US Low Emissions Gas Task Force, industries of both countries have forged commercial partnerships. “India and the US are exploring collaboration in advanced high-efficiency coal technologies with low-to-zero emissions through carbon capture, utilisation and storage. Research and development cooperation for solar cell manufacturing and storage is in progress,” he said.

Sandhu wrote that the US financial institutions have announced credit guarantees for India’s small and medium enterprise (SME) sector to deploy rooftop solar capacity. “The two countries have also launched the India-US Hydrogen Task Force looking at issues ranging from sustainable production of hydrogen to its safe deployment. Use of artificial intelligence models in integrating renewable energy and stabilising power grids offers yet another avenue for cooperation,” he wrote.

Over the past few years, green growth and combating climate change has emerged as one of the core pillars of the India-US relationship.

India has set for itself ambitious clean and renewable energy goals. In terms of installed capacity, India is the 4th largest in renewable energy; 4th largest in wind power; and 5th largest in solar power.It has taken lead at international level in the crusade against climate change through its contribution in setting up the International Solar Alliance and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

During his tenure here, Sandhu has made it one of the five pillars of India US engagement. Among the top few he has held meetings on this issue, including CEOs of First Solar, Vinmar international and Exxonmobil India. He has held separate meetings with top officials of the Biden administration including Under Secretary of Energy Geraldine Richmond; Under Secretary of State for Energy Jose Fernandez; and Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk, Some Congress members with whom clean energy was a key point of discussion during his meeting include Scott Peters, Ted Deutch, Pramila Jayapal, Ted Lieu, Andy Kim, and Grace Meng.

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