Trump won’t impact India’s climate drive, says energy minister

Piyush Goyal tells investors in Delhi his government is committed to a clean energy future, regardless of what direction the US takes

(Pic: World Economic Forum/Flickr)

(Pic: World Economic Forum/Flickr)

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India remains committed to ramping up its clean energy portfolio because it is a “global citizen”, energy chief Piyush Goyal told a power summit in Delhi on Thursday. 

“With some geopolitical changes in large countries across the world we are finding that the concept of spending more to get clean energy and protect the environment is getting affected in some parts of the world,” he said.

“I’d like to reassure you that India does not get affected or dictated in policy or direction by any other part of the world.”

Goyal’s comments are the latest in a series by senior Indian officials underlining the country’s commitment to the UN’s Paris climate deal and its national target to generate 53% of power from non fossil fuel sources by 2027.

Plans released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) last December indicate the Delhi government wants to deliver 200 gigawatts of clean power by the mid 2020s. In 2015, prime minister Narendra Modi said he wanted to see 100GW of solar online by 2022.

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Rated the world’s fourth largest carbon polluter after China, the US and EU, India is balancing environmental concerns with huge latent energy demand. An estimated 300 million Indians still lack access to the electricity grid.

“As far as India [is concerned] we are conscious of our responsibility as a global citizen… conscious we want to impact environment in a positive manner,” Goyal added.

“When we ratified the Paris Agreement it was full responsibility that India will meet its goals, irrespective of what happens in rest of world and in knowledge this is good for the people and the nation.

“This push to environmental consciousness is not out of compulsion because someone else tells us, not even because of the Paris Agreement but it’s an article of faith for this government we believe it’s in the best interest.”

Sourcing more gas supplies was a priority for the government, said Goyal, suggesting it would be a key factor in a new low carbon energy mix that included renewables and what he termed “clean coal”.

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