The Climate Conference in Paris offers the globe a chance to arrive at a firm action plan—and underpinning this chance are advances in solar and electric vehicles technology. If the Paris talks focus on making such technology and related finance available to countries like India, we can move closer to achieving climate goals
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The Conference of Parties (COP21) is beginning on 30 November in Paris, France. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has climate change has one of the top priorities of his foreign policy. Gateway House spoke with Nick Robins, Co-Director, Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on green financing and how India can leverage on it to further its energy needs.
The strategic and geopolitical importance of Iran’s Chabahar Port is not lost on India. It is for this reason that India is keen to partner with Iran on investing in developing berths at the Port. Although the relationship between the two have had its ups and downs, it is time that with a nuclear deal in place between Iran and the P5+1, India realises that it has much more at stake in its relationship with Tehran.
Solar power developers have offered to sell electricity in India at less than Rs 5/unit. This makes solar competitive with traditional forms of energy, and makes new nuclear power plants financially unviable. India must register the changed reality, and discard the idea of expensive Western reactors. Time to scrap the India-U.S. nuclear deal?
Developments in electric vehicles, battery technology, and renewable energy can make oil, coal, nuclear power interchangeable, if the appropriate technology is developed and marketed well. And since the benefits include a permanent cap on energy prices, India must promote its own industries in these areas and not remain a passive beneficiary.
Even as India and Germany move ahead on energy cooperation, India-U.S. energy collaboration is stranded in the three key areas: nuclear power, shale gas, and solar energy. But with cheaper energy imports due to the fall in fossil fuel prices over the past 12 months, India can wait till it gets a better deal from the U.S.
ONGC’s purchase of a 15% stake in Russia’s Vankorneft presents the road ahead for India – by acquiring oil and gas fields today, India has a chance to lock in the price of imported energy at the current low level for the long run.
In Germany in June 2015, G7 countries made major commitments towards decarbonisation and reduction in greenhouse gases, which will lead to binding decisions at the COP-21 conference in Paris in December. Germany pushed for these outcomes, and as one of the most energy efficient countries in the world its technology and expertise can help India’s targets of alternative energy and sustainable industry.
The nuclear deal with Iran benefits India and Pakistan in terms of energy security and connectivity. But both countries also face challenges in their prospective engagement with Tehran, and both will have to tread carefully while using the new opportunities.
The jobs of 6.5 million Indians working in GCC countries could be at risk due to the fall in global oil prices. Securing the interests of these workers should be on Prime Minister Modi’s agenda when he visits UAE on August 16-17