Germany commits to climate action initiative in India


Photo credit NITI Aayog

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, September 5: Germany and France are seemingly at the centre stage of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s European outreach to step up technology transfer for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in clean energy and defence self-sufficiency.

India has strategic relations with both the powerhouses of Europe.

India has been to Germany twice in a short span of time this year. First, he was in Germany as part of his three nations European tour, which had also included a special summit with the heads of the Nordic countries, who are known to be the clean energy technology bellwether. Afterwards, he was back again in Germany for the G7 Summit.

On Monday, the NITI Aayog, India’s think tank, held a virtual the Inaugural “NITI – BMZ Dialogue on Development Cooperation”, with Minister Svenja Schulze (BMZ) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany. 

Germany and India have over 20 years of strategic partnership.

During Modi’s visit, India and Germany had signed on May 2, 2022, a Joint Declaration of Intent on the Partnership for Green and Sustainable Development (GSDP). During the last G7 summit in Schloss Elmau in June 2022, the G7 and India agreed to work towards a Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP).

Suman Bery, vice chairman of NITI Aayog took part in the virtual meeting on Monday.

Both the sides discussed ways to strengthen mutual cooperation, particularly, to reconcile the imperatives of dealing with climate change with the goals of Agenda 2030.

“The NITI-BMZ Dialogue focused on five core areas of cooperation, primarily bilateral, but also as appropriate trilateral and multilateral, namely, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate action, energy transition, emerging technologies and agro-ecology,” said the NITI Aayog in a media statement.

The discussions were held with an objective to deliberate on on-going engagements, and identifying potential cooperation in areas that can produce tangible outputs and learnings for both sides.

Bery drew attention to Modi’s focus on individual responsibility for sustainable behaviour, embodied in his Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) initiative.

In support of a Green and Sustainable Development Partnership, Schulze announced additional funding of EUR 3.5 million for specific strengthening of SDG implementation and climate action at the level of Indian States.

“India is a global partner for Germany, the EU and the G7. We are very serious about a real long-term cooperation with India to achieve the Paris climate goals, the Sustainable Development Goals and in particular a just energy transition in India. An important basis for the long-term Green and Sustainable Development Partnership is to discuss and agree on transformational concepts and policies, be it in the energy transition, sustainable mobility, climate resilience or the agro-ecological transformation,” remarked Schulze.

The German minister stated that his country is looking forward to the Indian G20 Presidency in 2023 and are “ready to support India for a strong agenda on climate action and sustainable development”.

NITI and BMZ reiterated  their commitment on collaborating towards strengthening SDG localization at the city level and scaling-up SDG implementation in the context of climate change also at state level with capacity building and incentive systems for implementation.

During the discussion, both sides highlighted the need to deepen engagement on the Lighthouse Cooperation on Agroecology and Natural Resources and to collaborate on  — scaling up natural farming in India, strengthening research in different agro-climatic regions for natural farming practices, working towards standards and certification of natural farming products for facilitating export and evaluating impact of natural farming for mitigating climate change and adapting to climate risks.

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