US joins Swedish-Indian global group for climate change

LeadIT is aimed at driving climate change in heavy and energy-intensive industries. The announcement was made by US President Joe Biden at the Climate Summit 2021 on Friday, an official statement issued by the Embassy of Sweden said.

The United States has joined the global Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT), which was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven at the UNSG Climate Action Summit in New York in 2019.

LeadIT is aimed at driving climate change in heavy and energy-intensive industries.

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The announcement was made by US President Joe Biden at the Climate Summit 2021 on Friday, an official statement issued by the Embassy of Sweden said.

The White House stated in a tweet: "The United States is joining Sweden and India in LeadIT, an effort to promote low carbon pathways on the road to net-zero emissions for industry. Working together we can build momentum for industry transition to address the climate crisis."

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Swedish PM Stefan Lofven said, "It is very gratifying that the United States and President Biden have joined the Swedish-Indian initiative LeadIT. Heavy industry and the transport sector account for about 30 per cent of global emissions. A restructuring of these sectors is a necessary part of the fight against climate change. I look forward to working with the United States and others to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, by pushing for the heavy industry to achieve fossil-free and net-zero emissions by 2050."

Welcoming the US, the Prime Minister's Office in India tweeted: "This Indian-Swedish climate initiative takes the lead in heavy industry transition. It will help us meet the Paris Agreement goals, strengthen competitiveness and create new sustainable jobs."

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India and Sweden have a long tradition of cooperating on environmental issues. At their recent virtual summit on March 5, Lofven and Modi had agreed to continue the outreach to expand the membership of LeadIT, and also invited the group to develop a strategy for creating low carbon steel, cement and concrete industries.

Speaking on the latest development, Swedish Ambassador to India Klas Molin said, "This is a major step for LeadIT, the initiative launched by the Swedish and Indian PMs at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in 2019. The PMs also confirmed their commitment to the initiative at their recent virtual summit. Now that the US is joining, we hope that more countries and companies also join the transition of heavy industries towards a fossil-free and carbon-neutral future."

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The leadership group has been developed in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and brings together over 30 countries and industrial companies that work together to achieve fossil-free and net-zero emissions by 2050, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) hosts the leadership group's secretariat. The work plan for 2021 includes concrete initiatives from the public and private sectors to promote innovation and technology exchange, develop roadmaps for industrial change and policy measures to drive the change work.

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The group's work and results are followed up and new ambitious goals are set for the continued work at the LeadIT summits, the group's annual high-level meetings.

For Sweden, the leadership group is, among other things, an important global platform for disseminating the successful working methods developed through the Fossil-Free Sweden concept. Several of the companies that are part of Fossil-Free Sweden have also joined the leadership group.

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