Green energy deal may be a highlight of Obama visit

Aesha Datta Richa Mishra New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018

Talks on green technology transfer may also be cards

With US President Barack Obama coming to India later this month, expectations are that New Delhi will manage to do a climate deal along lines of the one between Washington and Beijing.

According to Environment Ministry officials, there is a possibility of a discussion on green technology transfer during the Obama visit. There are indications that New Delhi will reach some significant deal on climate technology.

According to experts involved in the country’s climate change initiatives, a deal must have the “right balance of the political — development, per capita income/consumption, growth — and the strategic — an opportunity to make it big in the clean energy sector.”

If politics is allowed an upper hand, India may end up adopting a tough stance in trying to protect economic growth goals, said Kris Gopalakrishnan, former CEO of Infosys and a past president of CII, who was on the international climate change panel.

“What we need is a right mix of political and strategic initiatives. India can use the opportunity to build on its alternative energy resources by entering into agreements for research and development,” he added.

Softening stance

India has been softening its stance on climate issues. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit last September, India agreed to end its opposition to a discussion on phasing out greenhouse refrigerant gases hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol. Thus, for the first time, Indian negotiators did not actively oppose an HFC amendment to the Protocol. New Delhi had been opposing a discussion on HFCs believing this would be detrimental to the Indian refrigerant industry.

Though the third largest emitter by territory, India has a relatively low per capita emission level; the latter is high for many countries, including the US, Australia and China. Together, the US and China account for over a third of the global greenhouse gas emission.

Yet, the latest IPCC (Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change) report, red-flags the high possibility of “worse” impacts for India, given both its position on the world map, as well as its huge, relatively poor and under-developed population.

Grave as the situation maybe, it also offers an opportunity for businesses. As several corporate houses, such as the Mahindra Group, have found out in the last few years — green business makes good business sense. In it lies an opportunity that can be tapped by the manufacturing sector, which is energised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘Make in India’ call.

Published on January 04, 2015

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