New Delhi: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius yesterday called for greater cooperation between France and India to tackle climate change and offered a proposed credit line of ¤1bn to enable sustainable urban development.
“In order to boost our cooperation, I am happy to announce that France has decided to propose a credit line of up to ¤1bn over the next three years for sustainable infrastructure and urban development in India through the French Development Agency,” he said.
Fabius was speaking at a discussion on “Sustainable development in response to climate change” organised by the French embassy, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at the India Habitat Centre here.
He outlined five areas of concrete cooperation between the two countries.
“I see at least five areas of possible concrete cooperation between France and India. Cooperation on carbon-free energy, developing our partnership on civilian nuclear energy, water-management in the context of the ambitious Indian projects on the Ganga and other rivers, urban development, and space and earth observation,” he said.
TERI Director General R K Pachauri said India should do exemplary work in the direction of controlling climate change.
“India for its own sake can go a great deal since we are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. As a country of 1.2 billion plus people, whatever we do is of enormous value to the world. We should raise our level of ambition and lead by an example for the world to follow,” Pachauri said in a video message.
Fabius said France is scheduled to hold the “Paris Climate 2015” event with an ambition to bring the planet back on track with a global warming of less than two degree Celsius.
“It’s still possible to keep to the target of an increase below two degree Celsius. We should show the flexibility to reach a universal framework which will provide incentives for all countries to join the global race to the top for low-carbon development,” he said.
The discussion was moderated by Prodipto Ghosh, distinguished fellow, TERI. Other panelists were Ajay Goel, member, CII National Committee on Renewable Energy & CEO, Tata Power Solar; Talleen Kumar, joint secretary in department of industrial policy and promotion; Laurence Tubiana, founder, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations; Surjit Bhalla, chairman, Oxus Investments; and Anil Chaudhary, CEO, Schneider Electric India.