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NEW DELHI: India and the US are expected to focus on financing of renewable energy and green technologies in talks during the upcoming visit by US Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry to New Delhi.

Kerry is expected in New Delhi on 13 September. That he would be visiting India was made known during a telephone call between Kerry and Union environment minister Bhupinder Yadav in August. The visit is seen as significant as it comes in the run up to a key climate change summit, the 26 Conference of Parties, hosted by the UK in November.

Speaking to reporters in Washington over the weekend, Foreign Secretary of India Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that Kerry had plans to visit India soon.

“Special envoy Kerry has been to India before. He has had extensive conversations with all concerned on the issue of climate change, he has had very good call with the Prime Minister. And of course, he also recognizes that our unilateral objective of creating 450 GW (gigawatts) of energy is a very significant step forward in the direction of mitigating climate change," Shringla said on Saturday.

“We will be working more on how to achieve those aims what are the means of green financing and technologies that relevant for such an important commitment to be fulfilled," Shringla added.

India, which emits 7.1% of global greenhouse gases (GHG) and has per capita emissions that are 60 % lower than the global average, recorded a fall in emissions growth in 2019. India’s GHG emissions grew by 1.4% in 2019, lower than the average of 3.3% per year over the last decade, according to the United Nations’ Environment Programme 2020 report.

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set the target of producing 450 GW of energy from green sources by 2030 as India, which now depends largely on coal-fired plants for electricity looks towards an ultimate goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions. New Delhi has, however, been stressing on the need for adequate financing being made available by the developed world for reaching such green energy targets as well as easier access to green technologies that will help countries like India.

During his first visit to India in April, Kerry had described India’s goal of 450 GW of green energy by 2030 as a “terrific goal," and a “powerful goal," while promising help to access financing.

Last week, India and the UK announced new steps to tackle climate change including a $1.2 billion package of public and private investment in green projects and renewable energy during talks between the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Meanwhile, on a visit to Denmark, Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar discussed climate change and financing with his counterpart Jeppe Kofod on Saturday. The minister was in the Danish capital on the last leg of a three nation tour of Central Europe.

“Everybody says build back better, but we also want to grow back greener. And in growing back greener, we think Denmark is a very, very unique partner, because you have strengths and experiences and best practices which are enormously helpful for a country like India at this stage of its development," Jaishankar said after a joint commission meeting that he chaired along with Kofod.

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