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Obama hails India's focus on renewable energy at the G20 Summit

Press Trust of India
17th Nov 2015
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US President Barack Obama hailed India’s economic growth under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its focus on renewable energy. Making an intervention during a G20 Leaders Summit session, Obama said the Modi government’s ambitious plans for scaling up the use of renewable energy combines a concern for environment and creates opportunity for furthering global growth through fresh investment in renewable energy.


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Obama also said it has the potential to create employment, according to a senior official present during his intervention. The official said that the US President hailed India’s economic growth under Modi’s leadership. In his intervention, Modi said there is global consensus on the need to address climate change.

“Stable long term global economic growth requires not just capital flows, but also efforts to facilitate labour mobility and skill portability,” he said. Modi further said India’s economic growth is likely to grow at 7.5 per cent this year and achieve a growth rate of 8 per cent plus next year.

“Our programmes of inclusive development, including financial inclusion, universal access to basic needs by target year, Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, Industrial Corridors and Smart Cities will boost growth and, employment in India.

“This will be a source of strength for the global economy,” he added. In an earlier intervention, Modi said through bold economic and governance reforms, we have achieved a growth rate of nearly 7.5 per cent with strong prospects for a higher growth rate in the near future.

“We in India don’t see development and climate change as competing objectives. This is centered on the belief in the unity of humanity and Nature. We have ambitious plans for addressing the challenges of climate change. This includes additional capacity of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, cut in subsidies on fossil fuel and tax on coal; and, National Clean Energy Fund of USD 3 billion to promote clean technologies,” he added.

Pledging to quadruple India’s renewable power capacity to 175 gigawatt by 2022 and cut fossil fuel subsidies, Modi also asked world’s top economies to ensure reaching the target of USD 100 billion a year green climate fund by 2020.

He also pushed ahead his proposal for forming an alliance of solar-rich countries at the upcoming Climate Summit in Paris and said G20 countries must build support systems focused on nations with maximum growth potential.

In his lead intervention at G20 Working Lunch on Development and Climate Change, he offered seven points for consideration which include shift from ‘carbon credit’ to ‘green credit’ and increase in share of traffic on public transport in cities by 30 per cent by 2030.

“I propose that we consider how G20 can build support systems that focus on countries with maximum growth potential, help address specific bottlenecks there and facilitate implementation of country strategies,” he said, adding that the grouping of world’s top 20 economies including US and China must continue to focus on infrastructure.

Clean energy and environment friendly infrastructure, he said, will address both development and climate change. “Bridging the current gap in infrastructure finance in the developing countries should remain our key priority, he said, while adding that G20 can play an effective role in supporting the multilateral goals of increasing research and development to develop affordable renewable energy.

“We should also ensure that finance and technology is available to meet the universal global aspiration for clean energy. We must meet the target of USD 100 billion goal per year by 2020.” The industrialised nations had earlier committed to long term financing support in form of a green climate fund worth USD 100 billion a year to support concrete mitigation actions by the developing countries.

“When we speak of targets, we must not only reduce the use of fossil fuel, but also moderate our life style. Development in harmony with nature is the goal of my proposal to launch, along with the French President Francois Hollande, an alliance of solar-rich countries at the time of COP-21 meeting (in Paris later this month),” Modi said.

Pledging to quadruple India’s renewable power capacity to 175 gigawatt by 2022 and cut fossil fuel subsidies, Modi also asked world’s top economies to build support systems focused on nations that have the maximum growth potential.

He also asked them to keep infrastructure financing in developing countries as a key priority. In his lead intervention at G20 Working Lunch on Development and Climate Change, he offered seven points for consideration which include shift from ‘carbon credit’ to ‘green credit’ and increase in share of traffic on public transport in cities by 30 per cent by 2030.

“I propose that we consider how G20 can build support systems that focus on countries with maximum growth potential, help address specific bottlenecks there and facilitate implementation of country strategies,” he said, adding that the grouping of world’s top 20 economies including US and China must continue to focus on infrastructure.

Clean energy and environment friendly infrastructure, he said, will address both development and climate change. “Bridging the current gap in infrastructure finance in the developing countries should remain our key priority.

“Through bold economic and governance reforms, we have achieved a growth rate of nearly 7.5 per cent with strong prospects for a higher growth rate in the near future,” he said. “Given our size and scale, India can become a pillar of global growth and stability.”

With India being the largest recipient of remittances in the world, Modi asked G20 to cut transaction cost for transferring money from abroad. “Remittances are a key source of income for households and support for the economy in developing countries. We should define a target date before 2030 to reduce the high costs of transferring remittances,” he said.

The transaction cost which was about 10 per cent has come down to 7.5 per cent because of sustained campaign by India. The target is to bring it down to 3 per cent by 2030 but Modi wants this to be achieved earlier.

Image Credit: Shutterstock


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