India, US Consult on Climate Change

india.us30 July 2014: High-level officials from India and the US have met to discuss bi- and multilateral cooperation on climate change. The meeting constituted the first round of bilateral consultations under the India-US Joint Working Group on Climate Change.

Discussions, which were held on 30 July 2014, in New Delhi, India, focused on two aspects: enhanced dialogue on an ambitious post-2020 climate agreement; and strengthening bilateral efforts in the areas of clean technology, smart grids, energy efficiency, adaptation strategies, and sustainable forestry and REDD+.

Prior to the Working Group session, a meeting took place between Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change of India, and Todd Stern, US Special Envoy for Climate Change. According to Stern, they discussed multilateral issues relating to the international negotiations on climate change and issues of bilateral cooperation. Commenting on the agenda of the Working Group, Javarekar said it would establish coordination on the aspects of mitigation and adaptation, and discuss activities and approaches in the areas of: clean energy; smart grids and energy efficiency; technology development, including in the area of water management and use; information-sharing on adaptation to extreme weather events; loss and damage; and REDD+-related research and development.

The Working Group session was part of the Fifth India-US Strategic Dialogue, held on 31 July at the same location, between delegations from the two countries led by Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of India, and John Kerry, US Secretary of State. On climate change, the two sides of the Dialogue reaffirmed their commitment to a successful outcome of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France, in 2015.

On clean energy, the two countries, inter alia, welcomed research and deployment work under the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), and reviewed a new bilateral initiative to promote rural access to off-grid sources of clean energy in India, titled ‘Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy' (PEACE). [Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests Press Release] [Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Video on the Joint Press Conference] [Joint Statement by the US and India]