The election of Joe Biden as the president of the United States is good news for the environment. In a speech on Saturday, he identified the climate crisis as one of his top priorities, saying Americans must marshal the “forces of science” in the “battle to save our planet.” In the run-up to the elections, Mr Biden, rightly, called, Donald Trump’s position on climate reckless, irresponsible and unacceptable, and outlined his policy plan: Rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement; invest $1.7 trillion to ensure that by 2050 the country will be a 100% clean energy economy with net zero emission, with an enforcement mechanism in place to achieve the goal; invest in clean technologies; stop investments in business that affect the climate and the envir-onment; and bring the world with the US to fast pace climate action.
Mr Biden’s commitment to battling the climate crisis will work in favour of India, a country that is vulnerable to the phenomenon. The impact of a changing climate is a barrier to achieving its development outcomes. Yet despite its low per capita emissions, India has made significant commitments in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution as part of the Paris Agreement.
The country is doing as best as it can with the resources (finance and technology) it has along with meeting its growth challenges, but at the same time, it has, rightly held that the developed world must pay for the clean-up (based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities). India’s emission share is 6% and the country needs help to grow, but by adopting a cleaner path. The new US administration must not disappoint, as it gears up to rejoin the Paris Agreement.