John Kerry, the United States’ special presidential envoy for climate, on Thursday praised India for addressing climate change concerns, PTI reported. He added that the country was “actually a red-hot investment opportunity for its clean energy transition”, PTI reported.

“We believe India can be one of the most critical transitional countries in this entire endeavour,” Kerry said during his address at the World Sustainable Development Summit 2021. “I am confident that just as we have worked very closely on any number of issues in these last years, our two nations – the world’s two biggest democracies – have a great deal to gain from joining hands in our global leadership and confronting the climate crisis to meet this moment.”

The US climate envoy praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for setting a target to generate 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030. “This is a strong, terrific example of how to power a growing economy with clean energy, and it’s going to be one of the most important contributions because India today is already the third largest emitter in the world behind the United States and China,” Kerry was quoted as saying by PTI.

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Kerry added that he was “heartened” to see that India’s 2021 Budget focused heavily on clean energy sources. “By 2030, the International Energy Agency forecasts that if India drives even more aggressively towards this clean energy transition, it will create half a million additional jobs than business as usual would create,” he said. “Indian industry is obviously already stepping up and showing leadership.”

The official said that he intends to work “very, very closely with” with India to address climate change challenges. Modi and Biden had also discussed the matter during their phone call earlier this week.

In November last year, Modi said that India had set a target of cutting down its carbon footprint by 30% to 35% and increasing the use of natural gas. However, he did not elaborate on a timeline for this.

Biden’s administration has also been vocal about tackling climate change. During his presidential campaign, Biden had promised to revamp US’ power and transportation sectors to limit emissions from fossil fuels. He also promised to get the country back to the Paris Climate Agreement, from which his predecessor Donald Trump had exited in 2017.