THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Agra, India) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release March 22, 2000
PRESIDENT CLINTON'S INDIA TRIP: PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT, PROMOTING
CLEAN ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AND COMBATTING GLOBAL WARMING
Today, in a visit to Agra, India, site of the Taj Mahal, President Clinton will announce several new initiatives to strengthen Indo-American efforts to protect the environment, develop clean energy resources and combat global climate change.
There is broad scientific consensus that greenhouse gas emissions -- primarily in the form of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels -- are at least partly responsible for an increase in global temperatures over the last century. Many developing nations are especially vulnerable to the projected impacts of global warming, particularly coastal flooding, increased incidence and severity of storms and drought, and increased incidence of disease.
The Clinton Administration is taking aggressive steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the past year, President Clinton has issued directives to reduce energy use in federal buildings to 30% below 1990 levels by 2010, and to target tripling of the use of bio-energy in the U.S. over the next decade.
With greenhouse gas emissions from developing nations projected to surpass those of the industrialized world within a few decades, the United States is committed to ensuring broader developing country participation in global efforts to combat climate change. One of the principal goals of the President's climate change policy is to encourage developing nations to adopt clean energy technologies that can help them achieve their development goals while alleviating local air pollution and avoiding greenhouse gas emissions.
The new initiatives that will be announced today include:
Joint Statement on Cooperation in Energy and Environment: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Minister of External Affairs Jaswant Singh signed a joint statement on cooperation on energy and environment issues on behalf of the United States and India. The statement outlines a common agenda on clean energy development and environmental protection, including:
South Asia Regional Initiative (SARI) Energy Program: The SARI Energy Program is a new $50 million USAID program designed to accelerate investment and trade in clean energy among South Asian nations, including India, Bangladesh and Nepal, which the President announced in Bangladesh on Monday. Program support will help countries foster regional cooperation and develop the appropriate policy, regulatory, and investment environments to encourage private investment. The program will promote the use of clean energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help stimulate economic growth.
U.S. Export-Import Bank Line of Credit: The Ex-Im Bank will provide a $200 million specialized line of credit targeted for clean energy development projects through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Power Finance Corporation.
Clean Energy Trade Mission: To further the goals of President Clinton's International Clean Energy initiative, the Department of Commerce will lead a trade mission to India focused on clean energy projects by the end of the year.
Greenhouse Gas Pollution Prevention Project (GEP): USAID will provide $20 million for a three-year extension of this program to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency and cleaner fuel use. GEP will:
Energy Conservation and Commercialization (ECO) Project: USAID will provide $25 million for ECO, a program to help promote commercialization of energy efficient technologies and services. ECO will provide technical assistance and training to the Ministry of Power, electric utilities, and regulatory commissions on policy reforms and will work to address market constraints to greater use of energy efficiency products and services.
Resumption of Bilateral Energy Consultations and Technical Assistance: DOE will resume its cooperative efforts on non-nuclear power sector policy reforms, and on public and private collaborative projects related to clean energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency. DOE programs were suspended in 1998 in the context of policy-based restrictions on U.S. assistance to India.
Resumption of EPA Technical Assistance: EPA will re-establish its environmental cooperation program in India with proposals to address air quality management, strengthening implementation of environmental policies and regulations, risk assessment and management of priority pollutants, and greenhouse gas reduction projects. EPA programs were suspended in 1998 in the context of policy-based restrictions on U.S. assistance to India.
Joint Private Sector Statement: The Confederation on Indian Industry and the U.S. Energy Association announced a joint statement to cooperate on trade and investment for clean energy development in India. The parties announced creation of a new 'green business center' in Hyderabad and a 'matchmaker' initiative to help bring investors in contact with business/project opportunities.
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