India and U.S. Ink "Green Partnership"

Eli is a contributing correspondent for Science magazine.

On first glance, today's deal lacks the big dollars, such as a joint $150 million energy research effort, that the recent United States–China deal included. But it's a full suite of technical cooperation agreements including shared work on food, wind power, extreme weather, and nuclear energy. Will this tamp down jealousy among some Indian officials that the United States was cozying up to its giant Asian rival?

Full announcement after the jump.

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
_____________________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 24, 2009
FACT SHEET: U.S.-INDIA GREEN PARTNERSHIP TO ADDRESS ENERGY SECURITY, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND FOOD SECURITY

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh launched a Green Partnership, reaffirming their countries’ strong commitment to taking vigorous action to combat climate change, ensuring their mutual energy security, working towards global food security, and building a clean energy economy that will drive investment, job creation, and economic growth throughout the 21st century. Toward that end, Prime Minister Singh and President Obama agreed to strengthen U.S.-India cooperation on clean energy, climate change, and food security by launching the following initiatives:

• The two countries agreed on a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation on Energy Security, Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy, and Climate Change. Through this Memorandum, both countries will work jointly to accelerate development and deployment of clean energy technologies and to strengthen cooperation on adaptation to climate change, climate science, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from forests and land use.

• Prime Minister Singh and President Obama agreed to encourage the mobilization of .public and private resources to support a fund or funds that would invest in clean energy projects in India. This represents a major step forward in U.S. – India partnerships to strengthen their economic growth and energy security, while also addressing the threat of global climate change.

• Prime Minister Singh and President Obama affirmed that the Copenhagen outcome must be comprehensive and cover mitigation, adaptation, finance, and technology. Moreover, it should reflect emission reduction targets for developed countries and nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries. There should be scaled-up finance, technology, and capacity-building support. There should be full transparency as to the implementation of their mitigation commitments and appropriate processes for review. Both leaders resolved to take significant mitigation actions and to stand by these commitments.

• In addition, the two leaders launched an Indo-U.S. Clean Energy Research and Deployment Initiative, supported by U.S. and Indian government funding and private sector contributions. This new Initiative will include a Joint Research Center operating in both the United States and India to foster innovation and joint efforts to accelerate deployment of clean energy technologies. Priority areas of focus for this
Initiative may include: energy efficiency, smart grid, second-generation biofuels, and clean coal technologies including carbon capture and storage; solar energy and energy efficient building and advanced battery technologies; and sustainable transportation, wind energy, and micro-hydro power. The Initiative will allow the two governments to leverage expertise from both countries including government, private industry, and higher education to accelerate the development and deployment of new clean energy technologies. The Initiative will facilitate joint research, scientific exchanges, and sharing of proven innovation and deployment policies.

• The Initiative’s work will be complemented by two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on Solar Energy and Wind Energy. Through the MOU on Solar Energy, the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) will partner with India’s Solar Energy Centre to develop a comprehensive nation-wide map of solar energy potential. More than two dozen U.S. and Indian cities will partner to jointly advance solar energy deployment. The MOU on Wind Energy between NREL and India’s Centre for Wind Energy Technology will focus in particular on supporting efforts to develop a low-wind speed turbine technology program.

• The U.S. and India will increase cooperation on unconventional natural gas including on coal bed methane, natural gas hydrates, and shale gas. The two countries will also work to reduce emissions from land use, including deforestation, forest degradation, enhanced sequestration, and sustainable management of forests.

• Working with India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will provide technical support for Indian efforts to establish an National Environmental Protection Authority focused on creating a more effective system of environmental governance, regulation and enforcement.

• They agreed to launch a new Agriculture Dialogue and agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation and Food Security that will set a pathway to robust cooperation between the governments in crop forecasting, management and market information; regional and global food security; science, technology, and education; nutrition; and expanding private sector investment in agriculture.

• In support of food security and climate change objectives, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will work with India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences to more accurately forecast monsoons, and thereby reduce risks associated with climate change and to develop early warning systems to protect people and crops from the adverse effects of extreme weather.

• In support of these and other initiatives, including continuing cooperation on nuclear power, Prime Minister Singh and President Obama agreed the Governments
of India and the United States will continue to engage regularly through the new U.S.-India Agriculture Dialogue, the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue and the U.S.-India Global Climate Change Dialogue.

Posted in Asia, Climate