CHENNAI: When President Obama and Prime Minister Modi met in September, much of their conversation was focused on climate change. The profound threat to humanity climate change poses makes sustainable development, growth, and the eradication of poverty all the more imperative. The United States and India partnership to address climate change is a critical piece of the global puzzle and why both countries are working closely together for a successful climate agreement at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in December.
Consul General Phillip Min discussed the importance of the U.S.-India partnership on climate change and the localized threats on October 9. “Climate change is often portrayed in global terms: rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, and rising temperatures. Fourteen of the last 15 years have been the warmest on record, affecting available water resources and playing a role in major natural disasters. But these global changes have highly localized impacts both in the United States and here in India,” U.S. Consul General Phillip Min said at Mannar Thirumalai Naicker College in Madurai.
In the Joint Statement on the First U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, the United States and India stated that bilateral have never been stronger, as reflected by unprecedented strategic cooperation, record levels of bilateral trade and investment, and more than 2 million annual visits between their citizens, students, and entrepreneurs. Both countries also pledged to pursue new areas of collaboration across government and the private sector.
The joint efforts to combat climate change are a direct reflection of these pledges. “We’ve got working groups that include the best minds from public and private entities focused on power & energy efficiency, oil & gas, new technology & renewable energy, coal, and sustainable growth. And don’t forget air quality, clean energy, and smart grids for smart cities. Then there are our combined research efforts. Science and technology are crucial to understanding the causes and the impact of climate change. We are working closely together on atmospheric, environment, and earth science research as well as emerging materials and manufacturing science,” said Consul General Min.
Consul General Min outlined the benefits of a combined public-private collaborative approach. “Government alone cannot either find all the answers or apply all the solutions. We need private enterprise in both countries to take up this challenge. As was true in the areas of high-tech, space cooperation, and other scientific endeavors, our bilateral climate change programs will have tremendous impacts on innovation and growth in India. The economic benefits of addressing climate change and moving to clean energy are enormous. In addition to creating more jobs, reducing energy costs, and maximizing profits in the near-term, businesses will realize gains through reduced healthcare costs and increased productivity in the long-term. You will have more choices for your future – more jobs supporting sustainable industries,” he told the assembled students.