The US needs to quickly catch up and demonstrate its climate leadership: Dr Ajay Mathur

Statement by Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI congratulating United States President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamal Harris and asking them to demonstrate climate leadership by the US through action, not just words

US election

I am delighted that Joe Biden - a long standing friend of India - and Kamala Harris have been elected the President and Vice President of the US. My heartiest congratulations to them - and I look forward to the meaningful participation of the US again in the fight against climate change.

The Biden administration will, almost certainly seek to rejoin the Paris Agreement, from which the US parted ways on 4th November. We should welcome - and enable - that rejoining, and encourage the US to accelerate climate action so that it is on a path to a world with less-than 2°C warming.

India should urge the Biden administration to adopt climate change goals that place it on a path to a less than 2°C warming target. At present, India is the only G-20 country whose Paris pledges for 2030 place it on a 2°C pathway.

In these past 4 years, much has happened in the world outside the US - for example, in India, solar electricity is already the cheapest electricity in the market (when the sun is shining); and going by prices discovered in recent tenders, it seems that the price of round-the-clock renewable electricity (from solar+batteries) will be competitive with the price of electricity from coal in about 2 years. The US needs to quickly catch up and demonstrate its climate leadership through action, and not just through words.