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Renewable energy is “personal and national priority” for Indian Prime Minister Modi

Date
26 January 2015
Renewable energy is “personal and national priority” for Indian Prime Minister Modi

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Modi agreed to work with the US to boost India’s renewables and curb escalating greenhouse gas emissions, during President Barack Obama’s visit this weekend.

The India PM expressed his “new excitement and confidence” in the revived US-India relationship the three-day meeting set out to secure, affirming it has “created new economic opportunities” and reinforced India’s ambitions for renewables growth.

Modi stated clean and renewable energy is both a “personal and national priority” for India and the US as part of their bilateral economic development plan, during a joint press event in New Delhi: “We discussed our ambitious national efforts and goals to increase the use of clean and renewable energy. We also agreed to further enhance our excellent and innovative partnership in this area."

He added: "I asked [Obama] to lead international efforts in making renewable energy more accessible and affordable to the world. President and I expressed hope for a successful Paris Conference on climate change this year.”

Confirming the US is primed to support India’s renewables targets financially, US President Obama reiterated the mutual drive to unlock a global low carbon economy: “I’m also pleased that we agreed to a number of important steps to promote clean energy and to confront climate change. We very much support India’s ambitious goal for solar energy, and stand ready to speed this expansion with additional financing.”

The PM’s remarks suggest India – which despite being far-behind the US and China is still the third biggest greenhouse gas emitter – will now work with the US toward agreeing a meaningful global climate deal at the talks in Paris this December.

INDIA low carbon business

But as India's climate and energy policy gets a much-needed boost, renewables investment in the business world is already underway.

Last week The Climate Group and CDP released a report charting corporates’ commitments to going renewable, which is now seen as a smart business move. In particular, authors reveal that Indian companies are increasingly investing in solar PV and solar thermal projects.

RE100: The journey to 100% is the first report to come from RE100, a global project led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, IRENA and We Mean Business, which shares the business case for renewables and supports major companies committed to 100% renewable power.

Ben Ferrari, Director of Partnerships, The Climate Group, says: “The welcome remarks from Prime Minister Modi during President Obama’s visit this week signal a new chapter for India’s public stance on climate change and commitment to renewable energy.

"The collaboration comes at a key moment in time; we are less than a year away from the critical COP in Paris - and the RE100 campaign will begin working with influential Indian companies that are upping their use of renewable power. We look forward to expanding our work in India, as the country takes the lead in the fast-transforming global energy market.”

The following European and American companies have already joined RE100 and made a public commitment to going 100% renewable: BT Group, Commerzbank, Formula E, H&M, IKEA Group, KPN, Mars, Nestlé, Philips, Reed Elsevier Group, J. Safra Sarasin Bank, SAP, SGS, Swiss Re and YOOX.

For more information about RE100 visit TheRE100.org or email info@TheRE100.org

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By Clare Saxon Ghauri

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