New law to boost US-India clean energy and climate cooperation

US-India relationsSenator Bob Menendez’s bill aims to support achievement of India’s ambitious climate targets

Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has introduced a bill to boost US-India cooperation on strong climate action and support the achievement of India’s ambitious climate targets.

The Prioritizing Clean Energy and Climate Cooperation with India Act of 2021, introduced Monday will also serve to bolster the Biden administration’s US-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership, according to a media release.

In addition to introducing groundbreaking new programs, it establishes the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Partnership (CCEP) as the main forum for cooperation between the two countries on clean energy technologies and energy transmission.

The legislation follows a Congressional Delegation to India in the fall of 2019, during which the Democratic senator engaged with India’s Minister of New and Renewable Energy and Indian business leaders to discuss how the US and India can address the threat of climate change and deepen our cooperation on clean energy production.

Read: The Indo-US climate agenda: the status quo and the road ahead (January 27, 2021)

CCEP activities include promoting joint research and development on clean energy technologies, encouraging US private investment in the Indian clean energy market, and supporting initiatives to develop new renewable energy generation capacity in India.

The Act also promotes US-India cooperation on climate resilience and risk reduction.

“Given the shared threat of climate change and India’s growing need for electricity, there is a strong case to be made for strengthening the US-India clean energy partnership,” said Menendez.

“In that vein, I am introducing this legislation having witnessed firsthand the positive results that come when our nations work as a team to tackle common challenges.”

“By establishing the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Partnership, we are laying the groundwork for successful partnerships between not only the US and Indian governments, but also our universities and private sectors.”

“I am proud to lead this effort to further strengthen our relationship with India,” Menendez said.

Key provisions of the legislation include:

  • Establishes the United States-India Climate and Clean Energy and Power Partnership (CCEP) as the main forum and funding mechanism for cooperation between the US and India on clean energy technologies and energy transmission
  • Promotes partnerships between US and Indian universities and government research laboratories on the research, development, and application of clean energy technologies
  • Promotes sharing of intellectual property between US and Indian private sector entities for renewable energy technology, air conditioning technology, refrigeration systems technology, and other advanced energy technologies
  • Encourages US private investment in the Indian clean energy technology market
  • Supports the provision of technical assistance and expertise on electrical grid and energy efficiency improvements in India
  • Supports initiatives to develop new renewable energy generation capacity in India
  • Requires the Administration to submit a multi-year strategy to Congress for implementing the CCEP
  • Commissions a report on opportunities for States of the United States and States of India to cooperate in advancing clean energy solutions
  • Sets advancing climate risk reduction and resilience capacities as a priority for the US diplomatic, security, and development work in India.

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