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India welcomes US efforts to fight climate change, its return to Paris Agreement

WASHINGTON: India has welcomed America's efforts to combat climate change and its return to the Paris Agreement as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden held their first in-person bilateral meeting at the White House.

President Biden, in his talks with Prime Minister Modi in the Oval Office of the White House, expressed support for India's intention to achieve a domestic goal of installing 450 GW of renewable power by 2030, according to the US-India Joint Leaders' Statement issued after their meeting on Friday.

The meeting holds importance ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in UK's Glasgow where leaders of nearly 200 countries will gather to discuss way forward to tackle climate action and the updated targets will be submitted.

India welcomed the US leadership on climate action and its return to the Paris Agreement, the statement said.

In February, the US officially returned to the Paris climate accord, 107 days after it left at the behest of former president Donald Trump.

During their meeting, Biden also acknowledged the importance of mobilising finance for investments in renewables, storage and grid infrastructure that will guarantee clean, reliable power for millions of Indian households.

Through the two main tracks of the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP) and the Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD) under the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership, the United States and India will accelerate clean energy development and deployment of critical technologies to advance a clean energy transition.

India welcomed the United States joining the Leadership Group for Industry Transition.

The 26th conference of parties (COP 26) to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) holds significance this year as it is expected to discuss the status of climate finance promises by developed nations to developing nations.

India has time and again maintained that it is suffering because of the mistakes of others and is not responsible for the climate change. It has also reiterated that the countries responsible for climate change should finance what they committed to and make technology available at an affordable cost.

Under the Copenhagen Accord, developed countries committed to a goal of mobilising 100 billion dollar a year by 2020 to help developing countries mitigate climate change.

Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav had last month said that India is committed to the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement and had extended support to the UK, which will host the international climate conference.

Under the Paris Agreement, India has three quantifiable nationally determined contributions (NDCs), which include lowering the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35 per cent compared to 2005 levels by 2030; increase total cumulative electricity generation from fossil free energy sources to 40 per cent by 2030 and create additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons through additional forest and tree cover.

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