‘Young People Have Been Key’: Kerry on Activists Like Disha Ravi

John Kerry had met Narendra Modi on Wednesday, as part of his ongoing three-nation tour to discuss climate change.

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US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry (left), Climate activist Disha Ravi (right)

US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry while interacting with media on Thursday, 8 April, was asked what he thought about young climate activists, in the context of Disha Ravi, who was earlier charged with sedition in connection with the farmers’ protests.

Kerry said, “Human rights are always a critical issue to the United States. Young people have been key to pushing a lot of adults to do what adults are supposed to do. I personally welcome that kind of activism,” The Indian Express reported.

Disha Ravi was picked up by the police on the night of 13 February from her Bengaluru home in connection with an online document that campaigned support for the farmers' protest. Ravi was granted bail 10 days later by a Delhi court that shamed the cops for their “scanty and sketchy evidence”.

He further added in context of the US elections, “The first time that I can remember since 1970, probably, the environment, climate crisis were voting issues and young people led that charge.”

John Kerry had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, 7 April, as part of his ongoing three-nation tour to discuss climate change.

Net Zero Carbon Emissions

Kerry said that pledging net zero carbon emissions is not an absolute requirement for India, as India was doing all the things to get there. He believed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi understood the challenge of climate change and that itself was better than a lot of other nations.

Net zero carbon emissions mean that a country will compensate for the greenhouse gases it has generated by making provisions for absorption and removal of an equal amount of greenhouse gases.

US President Joe Biden has convened a virtual Climate Leaders’ Summit from 22 to 23 April. Modi will also be a part of the summit.

It is expected that the US would commit itself to a net zero target by 2050 at the summit, in order to reclaim global climate leadership.

Kerry also said that if India was able to achieve its target of generating 450 gigawatts of renewable energy, then it would be “one of the few nations helping keep the rise in Earth’s temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius”, The Indian Express reported.

Kerry also asserted that the US would keep its commitment of paying $100 billion by developed nations to developing nations, in order to transition to climate-friendly technologies.

A statement by the US State Department said that Kerry and PM Modi affirmed the two nations’ shared desire to combat climate change. US and India can creatively collaborate on a 2030 agenda for clean and green technologies in the service of the planet, the statement read.

The statement further added that, “There was a broad consensus on the value of enhanced bilateral cooperation across multiple areas, including mobilising finance to support clean energy deployment at scale; collaborating on innovation and scaling up emerging technologies for energy storage, green hydrogen, clean industrial processes, and sustainable urbanisation.”

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

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