The European Union (EU) has issued a joint communication to the European Parliament and the Council through which the EU aims to reinforce EU-India strategic partnership, build a strong partnership for sustainable modernization, join forces to consolidate the rules-based global order, based on multilateralism with the UN and the WTO at its core, develop a shared approach at the multilateral level to address global challenges and seek common responses to security threats and regional issues.
In the paper, the EU recognizes that India’s energy mix is currently dominated by coal (50 percent of primary energy consumption), however, the country has started implementing one of the world’s largest clean energy transition programmes using its renewable energy potential. The EU believes that through the cooperation with India they can help to deliver reliable, sustainable and affordable energy systems, while at the same time contributing to the growth of the EU’s energy technologies sector.
The EU is expected to further engage with India on energy security, efficiency, renewable energy sources, including solar and offshore wind, smart grids and off grid systems, as well as on policies to develop an electricity system which can reliably integrate large shares of renewable energy. As per the EU, India has demonstrated strong political engagement in climate change negotiations for the Paris Agreement. Both sides are fully committed to its implementation and have enhanced cooperation in multilateral domain.
To support the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the EU will seek closer cooperation on climate change mitigation and adaptation and mutual learning to inform the development of the long-term strategies to be submitted under the Agreement. Similarly, EU has stated that cooperation is essential for developing an ambitious post 2020 global framework on biodiversity.
The following are the actions that the EU would focus on to take to achieve the mentioned goals:
- To continue the implementation of the EU-India clean energy and climate partnership, the EU will focus on regular exchanges, and use it as a platform to coordinate multilateral and bilateral approaches to climate change and energy security.
- Support India’s clean energy transition, through contribution to India’s flagship initiatives on offshore wind, solar power, smart grids, energy efficiency, energy access and affordability.
- Support the development and implementation of climate and energy action at the local level, including in the framework of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in India.
- Step-up coordination with India at multilateral level to strengthen global action on climate change, including the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, on the environment and clean energy, supported by enhanced cooperation in international fora on research and innovation.
- Support the implementation of the Paris Agreement, share knowledge on modelling and the development of low emissions scenarios to inform mid-century low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, as well as on climate change adaptation.
- Work together in addressing major environment challenges, stepping up the implementation of existing biodiversity targets and developing an ambitious new global biodiversity framework for adoption in 2020, while maximising links with climate change policies.
In the Indian context, other areas of focus by the EU include trade, digitisation, urbanisation, development of rural communities, data protection, public health and, research and innovation.
On October 2, 2016, India became the 62nd country to ratify the Paris Agreement. The agreement requires each member country to generate its own national plan to curb carbon emissions and rising temperatures. India’s national plan has set a goal of generating 40 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources.
A few weeks ago, five Indian projects were selected to be presented at the Paris Peace Forum, new annual event based on the idea that international cooperation is key to tackling global challenges and ensuring durable peace.
Recently, India hosted the second edition of Global RE-Invest which highlights the dire need for the entire global community to come together to combat climate change and the importance of political commitment in driving the green energy revolution.
Shaurya is a staff reporter at MercomIndia.com with experience working in the Indian solar energy industry for the past four years in various roles. Prior to joining Mercom, Shaurya worked with a renewable energy developer and a consulting company. Shaurya holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.