Obama and Modi Provide Excellent Leadership on Climate Action and Sustainable Prosperity

Statement by Rev. Mitch Hescox:

“We thank God for the wise leadership of President Obama and Prime Minister Modi on climate action and sustainable prosperity powered by clean energy.  This is love in action.

In their announcement today, many excellent commitments were made.  In helping India achieve its goal of developing 175 gigawatts of renewable power, including 100 GW of solar power, the U.S. and India pledged:

  • $20 million towards a Clean Energy Finance Initiative to mobilize $400 million towards providing clean energy to 1 million homes by 2020;
  • $40 million for the Catalytic Solar Finance Program that will seek to bring about $1 billion investment in solar energy.

Such initiatives help achieve EEN’s twin goals of overcoming climate change while lifting people out of poverty with sustainable prosperity powered by clean energy.

In addition, two very important steps were announced towards helping the world avoid dangerous interference with the climate system by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The first has to do with the Montreal Protocol on Ozone depleting chemicals, which the Reagan Administration strengthened and led the world to adopt in 1987.  Such man-made chemicals, known as HFCs, are also highly, highly potent greenhouse gases.  From a climate perspective is is morally strategic to reduce these man-made gases ASAP given their high potency; doing so will help provide a smoother glide path for reductions in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, which still power the world’s economy.

Today the U.S. and India announced that they are working together for an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that could help reduce a half a degree Celsius of warming – which is huge, given that the current goal is to have no more that 2C of warming.

The final announcement has to do with the international climate agreement negotiated in Paris last year.  The bi-lateral statement states:

‘The United States reaffirms its commitment to join the [Paris] Agreement as soon as possible this year. India similarly has begun its processes to work toward this shared objective.’

India’s commitment provides a tremendous boost to the world’s ability of having the Paris Agreement go into force this year.  Given the uncertainties of who will be our next President, such an outcome is quite necessary.

We are profoundly grateful for the leadership of President Obama and Prime Minister Modi on climate action and sustainable prosperity powered by clean energy.  We will do what we can to support these initiatives.”

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