New Delhi: The TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS) New Delhi hosted a virtual discussion with the Delegation of the European Union today on the theme, “EU-India Partnership for sustainable future.” The online event held as part of the EU Day series organized by the EU Delegation focussed on the growing India-EU partnership in the areas of energy, environment, Climate change and sustainable development.
At the 15th EU India summit held on 15th July, leaders from both sides had reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the EU-India strategic partnership including in the area of sustainable development. Both sides also adopted a common roadmap to guide their joint action over the next five years along with a joint declaration on resource efficiency and circular economy. The EU and India also agreed to enhance their partnership in support of sustainable modernization by boosting cooperation to support clean energy transition, resource efficiency and circular economy.
Delivering keynote address, Mr. Ugo Astuto, EU Ambassador to India said, “The cost of action in the area of climate change, resource efficiency, biodiversity, clean water and clean air is much smaller than the cost of inaction. Sustainability-driven investments will lead to a green and inclusive recovery post COVID.” He added that the EU and India as strategic partners will scale up cooperation for a green, digital and resilient future.
In his opening address, Prof. Manipadma Datta, Vice Chancellor (Acting) TERI SAS welcomed the EU Delegation and gave an overview of the institution. He said the areas of cooperation resonate with mission of TERI SAS which has been established to develop and nurture skills, qualifications and innovations in areas of climate change and sustainable development.
Mr. Michael Bucki, Counsellor, EU Delegation to India, speaking at the first session on ‘Why the EU Green Deal matters?’ highlighted that it is not only pivotal to EU’s recovery plan but it is also the blueprint and roadmap to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050, with a sustainable economy that leaves no one behind. He said that the EU Green Deal will boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy, restore biodiversity and cut pollution while creating jobs.
The European Union and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, have also recently agreed to join forces on five calls under the Horizon 2020 Green Deal Work Programme. This action is a follow-up to the priorities identified at the EU-India Summit held on 15 July 2020 to boost cooperation in transforming our economies into carbon-neutral economies. DBT will co-fund five calls in the area of clean, affordable and secure energy; industry for a clean and circular economy; farm to fork; biodiversity and ecosystem service and zero-pollution, toxic free environment. These five calls are part of the last and largest call launched by the European Union under its research and innovation programme ‘Horizon 2020’, the European Green Deal Call – with a €1 billion budget.
Speaking on the topic “EU-India Cooperation to combat Climate Change – From Intent to Action”, Mr. Edwin Koekkoek, Counsellor, EU Delegation to India stressed that enhancing India-EU cooperation to strengthen multilateral institutions is an important aspect of the cooperation on climate change, including the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) and the G20. He also highlighted that the EU is also extending cooperation to the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) launched by India, to ensure that infrastructures are resilient to climate change.
Ms. Tania Friederichs, Counsellor, EU Delegation to India gave an overview of the ongoing efforts in the EU’s collaboration with India in the fields of Research and Innovation and higher education opportunities for Indian students in the EU. She invited the students, researchers and faculty members to tap the various opportunities available under EU-funded programmes for higher education and research such as Erasmus+, the Jean Monnet programme and Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions and collaborative projects in Horizon 2020.
The sessions were followed by panel discussions where students and faculty from TERI SAS participated in. Prof Atul Kumar, Dr Sapan Thapar, Dr. Sukanya Das, Dr Kamna Sachdeva, Dr Gopal Sarangi and Dr Som Mandal from the TERI SAS faculty participated in the panel discussions. Dr. Manish Shrivastava moderated the event. Delivering closing remarks, Prof Shaleen Singhal, Dean Research and Relationships, TERI SAS said, “The discussions as part of the virtual EU Day at TERI SAS provided a meaningful outline of what a green agenda should look like. The active participation of students of TERI SAS and presentations by the panelists clearly establish the need for building stronger partnerships for realising this green agenda.”
The EU and India cooperate closely in the area of sustainable development, energy, environment and climate change. Some of the partnerships that have been established over the last few years include:
The EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership which aims at building energy efficiency.
India-EU Water Partnership looks at enhancing cooperation on water issues, including ‘Clean Ganga’ programme of the Government of India. The EU is also working in supporting India in developing policy guidelines for safe water re-use, even more important in the post-COVID times.
With the India-EU Partnership for Smart and Sustainable Urbanisation, we contribute to Swachh Bharat, 100 Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT.
The EU has also contributed to the drafting of India’s Resource Efficiency Strategy, the Draft National Resource Efficiency Policy and the Strategy for Fostering Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy in Goa.