Indian energy



This article was originally published on Corporate Knights and is republished with permission.

 

On June 3, two days after President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanged a hug with French President Emmanuel Macron during an official visit to Paris. Modi and Macron pledged to achieve emissions reductions beyond their nations’ commitments under the Paris Agreement, and Macron announced he will visit India later this year for a summit on solar power.

 

India_fields_and_wind_turbines

 

For observers who equate India’s energy production with a reliance on coal, this exchange came as a surprise. Modi’s internationally visible pledge would put India three years ahead of schedule to achieve its “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution” to the Paris climate agreement. Instead of shifting to 40 per cent renewables by 2030, India now expects to surpass this goal by 2027.

 

As the United States retreats from international action on climate with a bewildering lurch toward coal, other countries are assuming leadership in the most far-reaching energy transformation since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. China is cementing its role as a dominant producer of solar panels and wind turbines, and a number of European countries are continuing their slow move away from fossil fuels.

 

India, meanwhile, is emerging as a major market for renewable energy, laying out aggressive plans for investments in solar and wind. This shift is not about a starry-eyed prime minister seeking to garner international goodwill. It is the result of a fundamental energy and economic transition already underway, which India’s leadership has recognized.

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