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Climate change cooperation can start new phase in ties: John Kerry

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 - 11:20am IST | Place: Washington | Agency: PTI

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Asserting that the solution to climate change is energy policy, Secretary of State John Kerry has fully supported the "saffron revolution" call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that cooperation between India and the US in the field would kick off a new chapter in bilateral ties.

"He (Modi) has called for a Saffron Revolution, because 'the saffron color represents energy'. He (Modi) said that 'this revolution should focus on renewable energy sources such as solar energy, to meet India's growing energy demand. "He (Modi) is absolutely right, and together I believe that we can at last begin a new constructive chapter in the US-India climate change relationship," Kerry told an audience in Washington on Monday. 

"The United States has an immediate ability to make a difference here, and we need to eliminate the barriers that keep the best technology out of the Indian market. "The US can help India find and develop new sources of energy through renewable technologies and greater export capacity for liquefied natural gas," Kerry said in his address to the Centre for American Progress, a US think-tank.

The US, he said, has already brought together more than 1 billion in financing for renewable energy projects. "And with this funding, we helped to bring India's first 1,000 megawatts of solar power online. But we need to build on the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, so that American companies can start building and can start providing clean power to millions in India. And we need to build on the USD 125 million investment that we've made in a Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre," Kerry said.

Referring to the commitment of the Modi government to electrify every home in India by 2019, Kerry said with fewer limits on foreign technology and investment in India's green energy sector, they can help make clean power more cost-effective and more accessible at the same time. 

"We can provide 400 million Indians with power without creating emissions that dirty the air and endanger public health. And by working together to help an entire generation of Indians leapfrog over fossil fuels, we can actually set an example to the world," said the Secretary of State. Noting that energy policy is a solution to climate change, Kerry said the latter poses one of the biggest threats to humanity.

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