Describing the relationship and partnership between the UK and India as an “unbeatable combination”, British Minister for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd has said she is certain that low-carbon technology can be another string to the bow of the relationship.
“It is clear that together we (UK and India) already have an impressive track record in driving low-carbon growth. But it is also clear that we can do more. Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK in November is an excellent opportunity to build on what we already have, to raise ambition, and to show how India and the UK can lead the world in low-carbon growth,” she said at an ORF Technology event held here.
“By working together on technology and innovation, we can agree on an ambitious deal in Paris in December, and we can bring 2 degrees within reach,” she added.
Expressing her delight to be in New Delhi, Ms. Rudd said that she had heard a remarkable amount about India’s impressive initiatives to deliver sustainable economic growth and tackle climate change.
She referred to a book written on the subject by Prime Minister Modi called “Convenient Action”, and his belief that “India will lead the world in the fight against climate change”, building on its tradition of protecting and loving the environment.
Rudd said that Modi’s personal commitment to sustainable growth and his track record as the chief minister of Gujarat has positioned India as a global leader in the transition to a low carbon economy.
She said, “I want to emphasize that the UK shares India’s vision. We both want sustainable economic growth, which can only be secured through energy secure, low carbon and climate resilient economies. Studies like the New Climate Economy Report have shown that we do not have to choose between saving the planet and promoting growth – with the right policies we can do both.”
Speaking specifically on the issue of low carbon growth, Rudd said, “India can show the rest of the world how (this can be achieved). I would like to commend Prime Minister Modi’s hugely impressive renewable energy target of 175 Gigawatts by 2022.”
She further stated, “Renewable energy is good for energy access – supporting Prime Minister Modi’s plans for “Power for All”. It is good for energy security. The damaging effects on the global energy markets caused by instability in the Middle East are clear to see. Renewable energy can reduce our vulnerability to energy supply shocks.”
Rudd maintained that renewable energy is good for the economy as well.
“We’ve all seen the costs of renewables fall dramatically in recent years – by over 65 percent in India over the last three years, according to the New Climate Economy report. In particular, more and more research shows us that solar energy is now at grid parity in many countries,” she said.
“Low-carbon growth can be at the heart of Prime Minister Modi’s impressive drive for smart cities, green buildings, rapid transport, smart grids and effective waste management, creating cities of the future that are economic, low-carbon and climate resilient,” Rudd said.
“Low-carbon growth can underpin “Make in India”. With an energy efficient industry and manufacturing reducing costs and maximising output. And low-carbon growth can make our cities and towns nicer places to live in. Better air, cleaner rivers, and healthier people, which are at the heart of Prime Minister Modi’s “Swachh Bharat” campaign,” the British minister said.
“It is clear how governments can set the direction; how governments can raise ambition. And, governments need to work together. There is no doubt in my mind that securing an ambitious agreement in the international climate change negotiations in Paris in nine weeks time is our best chance to drive the scale of innovation and action that we need for a global transition to a low carbon economy,” she said.
“A global deal will send a clear signal to researchers, policy makers, investors and businesses that governments are committed to delivering a low carbon economy,” she added.
She, however, cautioned that governments alone cannot deliver the low-carbon transformation, and that there was a need for others to play their part.
“In the long term, we will need to harness the innovation and brilliance of our scientists and engineers. Coupled with the entrepreneurial drive of the private sector, this will enable us to pave the way for the deployment of critical low-carbon technologies, some of which may not even have been invented yet.