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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Modi in US: India-United States announce joint clean energy finance, pledge to ratify Paris deal


Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently on a visit to the US and met President Barack Obama to discuss key bilateral issues such as clean energy, defence partnerships and security. India and the United States have agreed to ratify the historic Paris Agreement that was achieved last December and have said in a joint statement that recognising the urgency of climate change, they “share the goal of enabling entry into force of
the Paris Agreement as early as possible.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a visit of the US and met with President Barack Obama to discuss key bilateral issues such as clean energy, defence partnerships and security. During its briefing on the Obama and Modi meet, the US side had said that India agreed to ratify the Paris deal in 2016, but sources from the Indian contingent said it is not correct. “We agreed to join as soon as possible and that is what is reflected in the joint statement as well.”The two countries released a joint statement on clean energy partnerships that included announcement of a $20 million US-India Clean Energy Finance initiative, steps to scale down Hydrofluorocarbon used in air-conditioning and refrigerators, and beginning of work on six nuclear reactors in Andhra Pradesh to be built by Westinghouse. The two countries also signed an MoU to enhance cooperation on energy security, clean energy and climate change, and an MoU on Cooperation in gas hydrates. Another MoU was signed to enhance cooperation on wildlife conservation and for combating wildlife trafficking. In April this year, India, the world's third largest polluter, took the first step of signing the Paris climate deal along with 174 countries while China and United States, the world's top two polluters have not signed the deal yet. Signing the deal is only the first step as countries have to go back to the their respective parliaments to approve it, and only they can they ratify it with the United Nations. Nearly 175 countries came ahead to sign the deal in April to put pressure on China and United States for adopting the deal as soon as possible. Republican presidential candidate frontrunner Donald Trump has already announced that he will re-negotiate terms of the Paris climate deal if he comes to power. The joint statement said that the US India Clean Energy Finance initiative is expected to mobilise up to $400 million to provide clean and renewable electricity to up to 1 million households by 2020. The United States added that it “intends to pursue membership of the International Solar Alliance”, a brainchild of PM Modi. The United States and India will jointly launch the third Initiative of the ISA which will focus on off-grid solar for energy access at the founding Conference of ISA in September, 2016 in India.

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