New US Law on Climate Change Seeks Bilateral Cooperation With India

Ahead of the Leaders’ Summit on Climate at the White House on April 22 and 23, to which Prime Minister Modi has also been invited, 10 US senators have introduced the United States Climate Leadership in International Mitigation, Adaptation, and Technology Enhancement Act of 2021 (U.S. CLIMATE Act). The 212-page legislation aims to integrate climate policy into all aspects of the American foreign affairs through a host of new programmes, and seeks to reinvigorate bilateral cooperation with India on research and investment in clean energy technology. 

The act states that despite considerable investments (around USD 42 billion by the US during 2014-19) in the renewable energy industry, India relies on dirty fossil fuel power plants and a high carbon emissions-generating transportation sector. The US wishes to support India in expanding its energy sector to meet its growing power needs in environmentally sustainable ways and enhance its climate security. Nevertheless, the act also says that India has become a global leader in clean energy generation and will be a competitor for international renewable energy projects. Last year, India achieved a top five global rank among green energy producers, and its installed power generation capacity from renewables increased by 144 % in the last 6 years. 

The act seeks robust cooperation between the two countries, including their private sectors, so that clean energy technologies can be developed an deployed, and be made a priority in the countries’ energy diplomacy with each other and the world. The technologies should include electric vehicles, expansive charge station networks, next-generation refrigeration equipment, refrigerants, etc, that favour the US industry leaders in the refrigeration and chemical coolant industries which comply with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.  

Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that this comprehensive legislation has been introduced to bolster Biden’s commitment to restore America’s role as a responsible actor in confronting the climate change crisis. The Leaders’ Summit, urging immediate climate action, is being posited as a landmark event before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place in November this year in Glasgow. 

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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