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The Recent United States, India Talks on Climate Change

The Recent United States, India Talks on Climate Change

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Alexandra Magaard // 28 January 2015 //  #GoingGreen

Guten tag liebe Schülerinnen und Schüler! I hope everyone is enjoying a pleasant end to a cold January (at least it has been chilly in Washington, D.C.!). I want to discuss the latest United States and India talks on climate change, or what “The Guardian” calls, “a key moment as major economies begin to deliver on the promises made in Lima to fight climate change.” President Obama recently embarked on a three-day visit to India (his second overall visit to the nation!), and Climate Change was at the top of his agenda. India is the third-largest carbon polluter in the world (after the People’s Republic of China and the United States).

Traffic in Mumbai, India on December 5, 2014. Source: The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/15/us-india-joint-climate-change-action

Unfortunately the visit ended with little specific action, but President Obama and Prime Minister Modi did set a list of goals to expand green energy and lower green gas emissions. India agreed to increase efforts to combat climate change with targets for higher levels of solar power and energy efficiency in the next two years. As well, India officially agreed to reduce its production of “hydrofluorocarbons” (HFCs). HFCs are commonly referred to as, “super greenhouse gases” and are 3,830 times more potent than CO2. The United States Environmental Protection Agency deems these gases to have a very high global warming potential (GWP) relative to other greenhouse gases.

President Obama and Prime Minister Modi of India on January 25, Source: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/opinion/a-new-chapter-for-america-and-india.html?_r=0

These talks signal increased cooperation and efforts by the two countries to go green. Hopefully this will only continue, and perhaps, one day, both President Obama and Prime Minister Modi will even say: when the going gets tough, the tough go green! Alex

Alexandra Magaard is a native of Wayzata, Minnesota and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German Language from James Madison University. In 2014-15, Alex served as a virtual intern for the U.S. Embassy and the Teach About US blog’s first author. A passionate supporter of environmentalism and green topics, Alex says that her activism began when she built a replica of the Cathedral of Notre Dame out of re-used egg cartons for her art class at age eight. She is now working for a German company based in Washington D.C.