India announcing net-zero target not 'absolute requirement': US special envoy Kerry

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New Delhi, Apr 8 (PTI) US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry on Thursday said it will be great if India announces a net-zero emission target but 'that's not an absolute requirement' as the country is doing all the things that it needs to do.

He said with the implementation of India's plan of 450 gigawatts of renewables by 2030, it will be one of the few nations helping 'keep 1.5 degrees alive' (meeting the goal of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius).

Asked if it is practical to expect India to announce a net-zero target, Kerry said, 'Do I think it could be? Yes... but that wasn't my message in my meetings with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi. He understands the challenge.' 'It will be great if India wanted to say that but I don't think that's an absolute requirement in the sense that India is doing all the things that it needs to (do to) get us there... that's better than a lot of nations,' he told reporters at a press roundtable.

Net-zero means balancing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the environment by removing an equivalent volume. This may be achieved by various modes, including restoring forests or through direct air capture and storage (DACS) technology, according to the World Resources Institute.

In its bid to reclaim the global leadership in fighting climate change, the US is widely expected to announce a net-zero emission target for 2050 at President Joe Biden's upcoming Leaders' Summit on Climate.

Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Prime Minister Modi, to the virtual summit on April 22-23 to underscore the urgency and the economic benefits of stronger climate action.

It's helpful to get everybody to make the pledge. The US welcomes it, but what's more important is real actions now from 2020 to 2030, Kerry said.

'If you don't have the ability to meet 1.5 (degrees Celsius limitation), then you don't have the ability to meet net-zero (emission targets). It's urgent. PM Modi understands that and so do we,' he said.

'Our challenge in the next months... (is) to get more people engaged in 2020-2030. That's what President Biden is trying to do at the summit he's hosting where he's asking nations to up their ambitions,' he added.

At the summit, every nation will have the opportunity to say what their plans are going forward and whether they are raising their ambitions, Kerry said, adding, 'We think it is critical to do so.' Kerry said the US wants to facilitate India's ability to reach the goal of 450 GW renewables by 2030.

'That's part of the partnership we had an agreement on in our discussions yesterday (Wednesday), where we intend to work very closely together,' he said. PTI GVS DIV DIV