India sets renewable energy goal

After meeting with US President Barak Obama in New Delhi on Sunday (Jan. 25), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will increase its use of renewable energy as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Modi agreed to expand India’s current solar energy program to reach 100 gigawatts of power by 2022. The US will provide financial support and technological assistance to help India achieve this goal.

At a press conference following the meeting, Modi said: “For Obama and me, clean and renewable energy is a personal and national priority. We discussed our ambitious national efforts and goals to increase the use of clean and renewable energy. We agreed to enhance our excellent and innovative partnership in this”, the Times of India reported.

In addition to clean energy, Modi agreed to keep working on a phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons, refrigerants that are potent greenhouse gas chemicals in the atmosphere.

India is the world’s 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind China and the U.S. Unlike in his meeting with China, Obama was not able to get India to commit to emission reduction targets. However, the two leaders were able to establish a channel for the U.S. and India to talk about climate before the Paris summit. The progress made between Obama and Modi over the weekend is a good signal that India is shifting its tone and becoming more open to joining an international deal on climate change.

(Image: Orissa, India. Bringing clean energy to rural India, project by DFID, UK Department for International Development. Photo credit: Abbie Trayler-Smith / Panos Pictures / Department for International Development, on Flickr)