Press statement: Joint India/U.S. statement on climate and clean energy
8 June 2016—The joint statement yesterday on a wide range of cooperative steps that the United States and India will take together on climate policy, clean energy, and the environment comes as greatly encouraging news. We applaud Prime Minister Modi and President Obama for their far-sighted leadership in furthering bilateral progress in these crucial areas, and for their agreement to bring the Paris Climate Agreement into force as quickly as possible.
On transportation-related issues in particular, the two countries’ plans to cooperate on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles in India, working through the G-20, is an important step forward. It comes at an auspicious moment: India has announced its intention to implement Bharat Stage VI emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles, and finalization of those standards is expected soon. And India has already begun the regulatory process of developing efficiency standards for trucks. These steps, when completed, will make India only the fifth country in the world to have taken such effective policy action toward controlling and reducing air and climate pollution from heavy-duty vehicles—one of the greatest sources globally of health-harmful particulate emissions in cities, and of the climate pollutants black carbon and carbon dioxide.
And, in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation just last week sent the final version of proposed Phase 2 heavy-duty vehicle fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas regulations to the White House Office of Management and Budget. The United States must continue to show leadership on this issue, which is near the leading edge of transportation policy for climate and clean air. As the implementing organization for the G-20 Transportation Task Group, the ICCT welcomes the agreement by India and the United States to join this important multilateral effort.
Likewise, we commend President Obama’s and Prime Minister Modi’s agreement to work together to address aviation greenhouse gas emissions through the International Civil Aviation Organization. Aviation is already a significant source of carbon emissions, and its importance is growing rapidly. International efforts to advance efficiency standards and implement market-based measures to control carbon emissions in this sector have thus far fallen short of what is urgently needed. The ICAO Assembly this fall can be a crucial turning point for international aviation policy, and cooperation between India and the United States may be crucial to supporting a progressive outcome to that meeting.
The sense of urgency shown by Prime Minister Modi and President Obama in pledging to sign the Paris Climate Agreement this year, and in the meantime to take these bilateral steps on short-lived climate pollutants such as HFCs, energy efficiency in heavy vehicles, and carbon emissions from aviation is exactly the kind of response our situation now demands.
Contact: Joe Schultz, [email protected]