The new U.S.-India agreement on climate change will help turn India’s bold renewable energy targets into reality.
Rather than relying on one major plank, the collaboration is a comprehensive set of actions that represent a substantial step in advancing low-carbon development in India while also promoting economic growth and expanding energy access.
All eyes are on India this week, as President Obama is set to make an unprecedented second trip to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While the leaders’ discussions will address several issues, including nuclear energy and trade, climate and clean energy will be a central part of the agenda. So it’s a tremendous opportunity for the two countries to make substantive progress on shifting to low-carbon, climate-resilient pathways.
President Obama’s first trip after the State of the Union tonight will be to India to visit with Prime Minister Modi, where they will announce new energy and climate efforts.
In a press teleconference on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, Indian and US experts will reflect on prospects for US-India collaboration and domestic action in India to curb emissions and address climate change.
Press Call Ahead of US-India Climate/Energy Announcements
Wednesday, Jan 21, 8:00 p.m. IST // 9:30 a.m. EST (Washington)
As world leaders deal with climate change, aim to lift more people out of poverty, and make the world a more sustainable, prosperous place in 2015, here are the top Stories to Watch, according to WRI’s experts and as presented by WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer on January 8.
Last month India pledged to increase national solar generation capacity to 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2022, but connecting solar projects to the country’s grid has been difficult in the past and could limit progress toward the new goal. Fortunately, an innovative decision by the Indian state of Karnataka may show how to solve the problem.
WRI initiated major bus reforms to improve public transportation in Bangalore, Karnataka, Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Surat and held car-free events in five Indian cities. During these "Raahgiri Days," cities closed streets to motorized vehicles for several hours to encourage walking, cycling and outdoor recreation, showing citizens that streets are for pedestrians and cyclists, not just cars.
With India’s urban population expected to grow to 590 million by 2030 and personal vehicle use on the rise, other forms of transportation suffer. Buses, India’s main public transit option, use outdated and inefficient systems, resulting in long commutes. Roads are unsafe: Pedestrians and bicyclists account for as much as 60 percent of road deaths in Indian cities. More personal motor vehicles cause traffic congestion and air pollution. Indian cities need improved transportation alternatives to decrease motorization and improve the urban quality of life.
WRI initiated major bus reforms to improve public transportation in four Indian cities. In Bangalore, WRI helped put in place a modern bus route system, a reform Indian cities had tried to implement for 20 years. WRI also aided in introducing city buses in seven cities in Karnataka. In 2013, WRI worked with transportation agencies in Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Surat to launch India’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) systems, where a lane is dedicated to buses, letting them travel faster. This year, WRI collaborated with the cities’ transport agencies to help design and train the operators to run 53 additional kilometers of BRT.
To make cities more walkable and bikeable, WRI held car-free events in five Indian cities, including Delhi and Navi Mumbai. For these events, called Raahgiri Days, cities closed streets to motorized vehicles for several hours to encourage walking, cycling and outdoor recreation, showing urban residents that city streets are for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as for cars.
Better bus systems and the Raahgiri movement have made life better for Indian city dwellers. Bangalore’s new bus network reduced travel times and improved public transport for approximately 150,000 passengers daily. Since implementing BRTs in three Indian cities, fatal accidents have decreased by 50 percent around BRT corridors, particulate air pollution has decreased by 20 percent, and a quarter of motor vehicle users have switched to public transportation. The Raahgiri phenomenon has changed how people perceive cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in Indian cities. .
Washington, DC (November 18)—India is revising its solar power generation target to 100,000 megawatts for 2022, five times greater than India’s current solar generation, according to remarks by made by Power and Renewable Energy minister Piyush Goyal on Monday. Goyals’ remarks came at a time when at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for enhanced collaboration on clean energy research and development during the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia.