New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) India and France on Thursday launched a joint initiative to strengthen cooperation in sustainable development and work towards global environment protection.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and French Minister for Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili launched the Indo-French Year of the Environment, under which the two countries will engage in discussions on critical areas of collaboration relating to environment and allied areas.
Various programmes under the initiative will focus on five main themes -- environmental protection, climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable urban development, and development of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
Welcoming Pompili on her maiden visit to India, Javadekar emphasised on the significance of India-France alliance in working towards climate change. 'We are the two main pillars of the International Solar Alliance launched by PM Narendra Modi. This revolutionary step has changed into a successful experiment. This partnership towards global environment protection will set an example for the rest of the world to work more effectively and efficiently towards sustainable development,” Javadekar said.
Speaking about India's efforts towards climate change, he said the country has already achieved 26 per cent of reduction of emission intensity. “As of 2020 the renewable capacity in India stands at 90 GW which includes 36 GW of solar energy and 38 GW of wind energy, he said.
He further added that India looks forward to strengthen the Indo-French cooperation in sustainable development, increase the effectiveness of actions in favour of the global environment protection and give them greater visibility.
Pompili reiterated the significance of the Indo-French partnership towards climate change and environment protection and said that through this partnership, France and India look forward to setting an example for the rest of the world. “India can motivate many many countries in the field of sustainable development,” Pompili said.
From the French side, the Indo-French Year of the Environment will be held under the aegis of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs with the support of the Embassy of France in Delhi and its partners.
“From the Indian side, it will be coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and other concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations,” a ministry source said. A joint screening committee will also be set up to finalise the calendar of the events for the Indo-French Year of the Environment.
Prior to the launch, a bilateral meeting was held between the French delegation and their Indian counterpart here where both the sides deliberated on issues relating to climate change, bio-diversity, blue economy, international solar alliance, cooperation in the field of single-use plastic, etc. PTI AG SMN SMN