India, US announce establishment of JWG on Climate Change

Washington: Recognising climate change as a "defining challenge", India and US have announced the establishment of a joint working group to develop and enhance action-oriented cooperation in this key sector.
In a joint statement after the summit meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama, the two leaders jointly announced the group to begin an enhanced dialogue focusing on working closely in developing an ambitious climate change agreement for the post-2020 period and also on strengthening bilateral efforts in this regard.
"Recognising that climate change is a defining challenge of our time and that there are mutual benefits to intensifying cooperation, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh announced the establishment of an India-US Climate Change Working Group to develop and advance action-oriented cooperation," the joint statement said.
The two leaders agreed to immediately convene the India-US Task Force on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to discuss multilateral approaches that include using the expertise and the institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the consumption and production of HFCs, based on economically- viable and technically feasible alternatives.
The leaders also agreed upon including HFCs within the scope of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol for accounting and reporting of emissions.
"The leaders are committed to support the full implementation of the agreed outcomes under the UNFCCC with its ongoing negotiations," the joint statement said.
Both the leaders welcomed the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to mobilise political will through 2014 towards the successful adoption of a protocol, another legal instrument, or an agreed outcome with legal force under the convention applicable to all parties by 2015, during COP-21 scheduled to be hosted by France.
The leaders maintained that the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), launched by the two leaders in 2009, is expected to pave the way for energy to millions of Indian households.
"To expand the availability of clean energy resources to more people, President Obama and Prime Minister Singh endorsed the proposal to launch Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE), a PACE initiative, to rapidly deploy innovative renewable energy solutions to those who currently lack access to energy," the statement said.