India and European Union (EU) leaders met for the 15th EU-India Summit on 15 July 2020 on a virtual platform. India was represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while from the EU side Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission attended the summit.
India – EU Summit
Like any other summits, many key focus areas were identified and discussed, but there are not many summits that focus so much on the major challenges facing the planet earth – Climate Change.
In a time, when the world is undergoing a turbulent pandemic that has taken many lives, disrupted economic activities, and impacted the global supply chain.
Good to see two of the major regions of the world – EU, and India – taking a holistic view of a much bigger crisis facing the world.
India – EU Summit got the leaders of both the region’s issue a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to climate change and environmental degradation.
Let’s look at some of the points which were discussed, agreed, and currently worked on.
Commitment towards Paris Agreement & Climate Change
- The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Agreement to take efforts to tackle climate change – holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.
- The EU informed about its long-term greenhouse gas emission development strategy and India will strive to submit its own strategy.
- Reinforce cooperation on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the climate change resilience of cities and towns
- The Leaders welcomed the ongoing cooperation between the EU and India under the Clean Energy and Climate Partnership. The EU and India will engage constructively in the global stocktake in 2023, the outcome of which shall inform the updating and enhancing, in a nationally determined manner, of the actions and support in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Paris Agreement.
Renewable Energy and Solar Alliance
- The EU–India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership should focus on cooperation in energy efficiency and in renewable energy, including its integration in the energy system such as through smart grids
- The EU and India will reinforce their cooperation in the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to promote the deployment of solar energy.
Smart and Sustainable Urbanisation
- The EU and India will enhance their partnership in support of sustainable Urbanisation. Developing effective solid waste management & treatment and promotion of circular economy, developing effective water supply & sewage system, and innovation in housing.
- Focussing on sustainable mobility, public open spaces, social and organizational innovation, and urban e-governance.
- Enhance cooperation on sustainable mobility, including on the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
- Leaders signed the Euratom-India agreement that boosts cooperation on research and development for peaceful nuclear energy. The leaders welcomed the continued fusion research cooperation within the ITER project.
Finance and Investments
- The India – EU Summit also called for an additional focus in the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) to mobilize private capital towards environmentally sustainable investments.
- The EU looks forward to cooperating with the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) launched by India to ensure that infrastructures are resilient to climate change.
- They also agreed to work closely together in developing an ambitious post-2020 global framework to protect biodiversity, to be adopted at the 2021 UN Biodiversity Conference.
- The leaders supported an ambitious mandate for an international chemical and waste management framework beyond 2020, for consideration at the fifth International Conference on Chemical Management in Bonn in 2021.
- They agreed to jointly tackle water issues, air pollution, plastic and marine litter. Exchanges on research and innovation will be increased to further underpin progress in these areas.