The government of the United Kingdom (U.K.) has said that the country will co-chair the governing council on the India-led global ‘Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).’
Established by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the CDRI is a voluntary international grouping linking governments, United Nations agencies, banks, private sectors, groups, and academia to develop the resilience of the infrastructure systems for climate and disaster risks.
The governing council is the highest policy-making body of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure. India co-chairs it along with a representative of another national government nominated in rotation every two years.
The U.K. was represented at the first council meeting by the Secretary of State for business, energy, and industrial strategy, Alok Sharma.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the minister participated remotely over a video link from the U.K. The minister, who is the president of the 2020 U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26), also held a meeting with Pramod Kumar Mishra, the principal secretary of PM Modi, over videoconference.
Sharma said, “Delivering action on climate change remains a priority for the U.K., and I am sure that the U.K.-India partnership on climate action will help see progress on reducing emissions and help make India’s infrastructure fit for the future.”
Jan Thompson, the acting high commissioner to India, said: “The U.K. is already working closely with India as a joint force for good on climate change. We believe the India-led CDRI will bring about a transformation in how infrastructure is designed, constructed, operated, and maintained. This year is a crucial year for our climate, and I am confident that U.K.-India’s leadership on climate action can deliver substantial progress towards reducing emissions and helping to build resilience globally.”
The governments have committed £240 million (~$279.31 million) of anchor capital in the Green Growth Equity Fund with its first investment going to Ayana Renewable Power, which is developing 800 MW of solar projects, the official statement stated. Ayana is the renewable energy platform founded by the CDC group and is currently constructing 800 MW of solar projects across the country.
According to the official statement, a joint venture between U.K.’s E.O. Charging and India’s Yahhvi Enterprises will also deliver charging infrastructure for electric vehicles across India.
In March 2019, Mercom had reported that EverSource Capital and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund of India (NIIF), in partnership with Ayana Renewable Power, could together bring in $330 million (₹24.45 billion) investment. The launch fund would be called the Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF), which has a fundraising target of £500 million (~$71,05,90,500). The U.K. government and India’s NIIF are joint anchor investors in GGEF with a commitment of £120 million (~$17,05,61,400) each. U.K. and India’s contributions are investments that would generate returns for each country. GGEF is set up as an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) under India’s Security and Exchange Board of India Regulations, 2012.
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.