India convert domestic ports to green energy as US prepares to withdraw from Paris Agreement

The 'cash rich' will pump some of their profits into renewable energy, a senior official says

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The Independent Online

India is set to become the first country in the world to use green energy to power its domestic ports.

The country's government has pledged to convert all 12 of its major domestic ports to renewable energy by 2019. 

The plans will see the ports powered with almost 200 megawatts (mw) of solar and wind energy - a capacity officials hope could reach 500mw in the coming years. 

“These renewable energy projects will help in the reduction of carbon emission and lead to improvement of environment around the ports,” a senior government official told The Economic Times. “All our ports are cash-rich... The ports have started the process of setting up renewable energy projects from profits.”

Separately, Indian Railways has sharpened its focus on undertaking renewable power projects and plans to install 1,000 mw of solar plants, which will be installed on signalling panels and rooftops of rail stations

It comes as world leaders cemented their commitment to tackling climate change as Donald Trump prepares to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. 

Meanwhile, China is set to announce a deeper alliance with Europe to uphold the international agreement signed by 195 countries in 2015. 

The UK’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the US had already taken important steps to cut emissions and progress needed to be made in China and India. 

"The states of the US, where so many of the important decisions on emissions are taken, have already made a huge amount of progress and that progress will continue," he said.

"Further progress needs to be made by other countries - notably India, China and others. They are huge emitters. We need to tackle this globally."

With falling prices of clean technology, some analysts say the switch to a low carbon world is already unstoppable, and countries that fail to take advantage of the shift will lose out.