Testifying before a congressional committee on Thursday, Jonathan Pershing, senior advisor to Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry, said the United States and India are committed climate partners.
“We welcome Prime Minister Modi’s continued attention to driving a clean energy transformation in India, despite the extreme challenges posed by the Covid crisis there,” Pershing told lawmakers.
In April, the two governments signed the “United States-India Climate and Clean Energy Partnership to 2030”. As part of the partnership, the two sides have identified a 2030 agenda for clean technology and climate action, Pershing said.
“A key objective will be cooperation to create regulatory and market conditions to stimulate the investments necessary to achieve India’s goal of deploying 450 GW of renewable energy. If this is achieved, India would achieve transformative change. both in its energy security and its GHG emissions trajectory, ”he said. mentionned.
Sherri Goodman, secretary general of the International Military Council on Climate and Security, told lawmakers climate factors are also impacting the strained relationship between nuclear-weapon neighbors India, Pakistan and China. .
A joint study released earlier this year by the Council on Strategic Risks and the Woodwell Climate Research Center predicts a strong warming trend near the disputed India-China border, where around 1,000,000 Indian and Chinese troops are deployed at altitudes up to 15,000 feet, she says.
Military patrols, which are not viable today, could become more frequent, creating the conditions for possible violent clashes, she added.
“Meanwhile, China, in part due to its transition to renewables, is planning the world’s largest hydropower plant just north of where the Brahmaputra crosses India. Three times the size of the Three Gorges Dam, this new dam project is also located in a seismic sensitive area, ”noted Goodman.
“This has raised great concerns for India downstream, which is also worried that the new Chinese dam could be used to hold water or flood parts of India. In truth, it will be difficult to say whether future flooding is the result of Chinese Dam Handling, or climate-related factors. China’s lack of transparency on dam projects affecting its neighbors only increases India’s mistrust, “a- she declared.
China is also building a series of dams in Pakistani Kashmir, which India opposes, due to its territorial claims there. These dams, once built, will be viable until the end of the century, due to predicted glacial melt patterns, Goodman said.
“Such a construction will help further strengthen the Sino-Pakistani partnership while exacerbating the two countries’ tensions with India. In each of these disputes, there is a lack of universally reliable data sources and institutions capable of handling resource disputes, ”she said.
Craig Hart, deputy deputy administrator of the Asia Office at the United States Agency for International Development, said USAID, in partnership with the Indian government, is improving the rehabilitation and management of more than a million hectares of Indian forests to increase carbon sequestration, improve forest water yields and strengthen the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities in three states, refining techniques that New Delhi will apply nationally.
“USAID / India’s new program, Trees Outside Forests in India, will encourage greater tree cover on private land at scales ranging from household to commerce,” he said.
“USAID helped India launch a national commercial building retrofit program to improve energy efficiency and air quality, and in doing so, opened up huge business opportunities for US businesses. in a country where the air conditioning market is growing by 15% per year. ” he said.
For example, USAID’s support prompted the main implementer of energy efficiency programs in India to seek a $ 10 million contract, ultimately awarded to the American company Carrier Global Corporation, to install and maintaining filtration systems and monitors in existing air conditioning systems in buildings in and around New Delhi, Hart said.
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