Recalling the 2009 U.S.-India MOU on clean energy, energy efficiency, energy security, and climate change, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna reaffirmed their countries’ strong commitment to work collaboratively in bilateral and multilateral fora to help ensure mutual energy security, combat global climate change and support the development of low-carbon economies that will create opportunities and fuel job growth in both countries. The two countries will continue to consult regularly on the future of global oil and gas markets, expanding sustainable energy access to support jobs and economic growth in both countries, collaborating in research and technology, and increasing U.S. exports of clean energy technology.
Ensuring Mutual Energy Security: Recognizing the implications of energy access for national security, both countries will continue their efforts to advance mutual energy security and ensure access to secure, reliable, and affordable energy supplies. Highlighting the role of natural gas as a bridge fuel toward a clean energy future, the United States will continue to support India’s efforts as its seeks to increase natural gas as a share of its energy mix. Through the State Department’s Unconventional Gas Technical Engagement Program, the United States also agreed to share U.S. experience and best practices in establishing the necessary environmental protection and regulatory framework as India prepares for its first shale gas bid round, scheduled for 2013. Both countries recognize the need to work collaboratively through the IEA in the event of global supply disruptions. The United States welcomed India’s leadership in the progress that has been made on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline and agreed to support the project and other energy-related regional efforts through continued diplomatic engagement. To further support these efforts, the countries announced the next meeting of the Energy Dialogue in September 2012.
PACE Implementation: The U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) aims to accelerate the transition to low-carbon, energy secure economies through the research and deployment of clean energy technologies. Over the past two and a half years, PACE has mobilized more than $1.7 billion in public and private resources for clean energy projects in India. A progress report on the U.S. Government’s PACE implementation efforts can be found here.
Global Action through the Clean Energy Ministerial: India will host the fourth meeting of the CEM (CEM4) in 2013. U.S.-India collaboration through the CEM takes place through five initiatives and includes a strong focus on equipment and appliance standards, awards, and incentive programs through the Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative; energy management and cool roofs demonstration projects in India under the Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership; and the India portion of Lighting Asia, a program aimed at providing safe, clean, and affordable off-grid lighting to two million rural Indians over the next three years. Enhancing bilateral efforts, CEM cooperation reflects the countries’ commitment to addressing global energy and climate challenges.
Sustained Commitment to Addressing Climate Change: The United States and India expressed continued support for their high-level dialogue on climate change, which contributed to the successful outcomes in Durban. Both sides reaffirmed their intention to work together toward implementation of those outcomes, including negotiating the 2015 “Durban Platform” agreement under the UN Framework Convention. Further, both countries emphasized the importance of the international community working together in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on effective measures to reduce global aviation emissions. The two countries underscored their commitment to collaborate on issues such as clean technology, adaptation, and transparency of reporting on national actions and emissions. The United States and India successfully implemented the first bilateral collaborative project to obtain continuous measurements of atmospheric state, energy budgets, clouds, and aerosol properties within India, and provided critical data for improving climate models.
The United States and India also reiterated their commitment to cooperation to address short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), which are responsible for a significant share of near-term warming and cause millions of premature deaths and millions of tons of crop losses on a global scale every year. Bilateral collaboration on SLCPs includes a joint U.S.-India task force report on climate-friendly alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), extensive collaboration with India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation on methane abatement from oil & gas operations through the Global Methane Initiative, and information exchange on the countries’ respective black carbon research programs.
Support for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The countries also agreed to continue bilateral collaboration under existing frameworks on climate adaptation and reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). In the summer of 2012, USAID will award the new five-year, $15 million Partnership for Land Use Science (Forest-PLUS) technical assistance program. The program was designed and developed in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) to directly support the Government of India’s Green India Mission. The program aims to reduce emissions and enhance carbon sequestration through India’s forests by taking REDD+ actions to scale. USAID and the U.S. Forest Service will also work with the MOEF in carbon inventory and monitoring, and to pilot and test carbon estimation methodologies.