Realigning the weight of clean energy in the US-India energy partnership, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change, John Kerry, on his first day in India launched the Climate Action and Finance Mobilisation Dialogue (CAFMD) with the government. He said the three-part focus of the dialogue would be on finance mobilisation, clean energy development, and climate adaptation measures. Kerry also met the Minister for Power, New & Renewable Energy R K Singh and Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav. The two nations are revamping their strategic partnership to focus on clean energy sectors, such as biofuels and hydrogen, after the Joe Biden administration took charge. This is a shift from the partnership efforts under Donald Trump that focused more on shale exploration. Speaking at the event where he signed the CAFMD with Yadav, Kerry said a robust India-US Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership would set an example for the world "on how swift climate action with inclusive and resilient economic development can bring the world closer to the climate goals and build stronger economies for both". He said, "Agenda 2030 is a core pillar of the US-India relationship and the CAFMD is one of the two main tracks of the Agenda 2030 partnership." In line with the same, the realigned Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP) was jointly launched last week. An official statement said SCEP was launched in accordance with the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Biden at the 2021 Leaders' Summit on Climate held in April. Kerry said the CAFMD will take these joint efforts forward. The three focal points of the CAFMD would firstly include a 'climate action pillar", he said, which will develop proposals that can contribute towards curbing emissions. "In the power sector, this would translate into a road map to achieve the 450-gigawatt (Gw) renewable energy target," said the special envoy. The second is finance mobilisation, under which the two countries will collaborate on attracting capital to deploy 450 Gw of renewable energy capacity, investment in innovative clean energy technologies, and promote bilateral clean energy investment. The third part would focus on climate adaptation and resilience. “We are going to collaborate to build capacity to measure and manage climate risks. We are also going to be active in the protection of forests,” said Kerry. The announcement comes close on the heels of the UK government announcing a $1.2-billion package for public and private investment in green projects and renewable energy in India. Commenting on India's clean energy plans, Kerry said the target of 450 Gw of renewable energy is one of the most powerful goals in the world. "You have already reached about 100 Gw.
We are absolutely confident that the 450-Gw goal can and will be reached. I look forward to seeing this ambition hopefully given its proper due at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow," said Kerry. In his meeting with the special envoy, R K Singh urged the US government to join the International Solar Alliance. "The minister informed the envoy about the bids for green hydrogen and electrolysers that are being planned. The minister requested the US side to send their companies to participate in the bids," said a statement from the Ministry of Power. Kerry's visits and agendas signed under these meetings follow the US-India Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP), which was launched in April 2018. The original partnership included power and energy efficiency, responsible oil and gas, renewable energy, and sustainable growth in 2019. With the addition of 'emerging fuels', SEP was rechristened SCEP. As part of SCEP, a US-India hydrogen task force was launched in June and a new India-US task force on biofuels announced last week. The two countries have also signed up for the transformation of the US-India gas task force. This will entail emphasis on the intersectionality between bioenergy, hydrogen, and renewable fuels with natural gas.