EU, India reiterate commitment to cooperate on energy,clean development and climate change

Marseilles (France), Sept.29: The European Union and India as key strategic partners, have reiterated their joint commitment to urgently address climate change and deepen co-operation in fields relevant to energy, clean development and climate change.

Both India and the EU also said that they attach high priority to the promotion of energy security as a key to stable and sustainable development, besides recognizing the cross-cutting nature of climate change and its impacts. They agreed that urgent actions were necessary to address all aspects of climate change.

Calling on all countries to initiate urgent action to tackle climate change, the urgency of which was confirmed by the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and outlined in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), India and the EU said that the fight against climate change is closely linked to the fight against poverty, inequality and exclusion.

They recognized that the efforts undertaken to move towards a low carbon economy must go hand in hand with development and with improving the conditions of the poorest sections of the population. They also stressed on the need to exploit the synergies between the promotion of energy security, improved air quality and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation and mitigation measures to ensure consistency between meeting the ultimate objectives of the UNFCCC and energy policy, and between economic growth and development goals.

In the context of the ongoing negotiations for a post-2012 regime, the EU and India reiterated their determination to reach by 2009 an ambitious and comprehensive agreed outcome, in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsabilities and respective capabilities, to combat climate change within the framework of the UNFCCC.

To that end, they underlined the importance of attaining results in relation to all the components of the Bali Roadmap adopted in December 2007 (e.g. shared vision, mitigation, adaptation, technologies, financing).

The Conference of the Parties to the Convention in Poznan in 2008 will constitute a critical step towards leading ultimately to the success of these negotiations, both said.

Both also agreed on the necessity to adopt a shared vision that includes a long-term objective to address the IPCC's scenarios.

Accordingly, they noted the desire of the G-8 nations to share with all the parties of the UNFCCC the vision of reducing global emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050.

They welcomed the declaration of the Major Economies Meeting, where leaders of the world's major economies, both developed and developing, had committed to combating climate change in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and to confronting the interlinked challenges of sustainable development, including energy and food security, and human health.

In this context, they noted the EU commitment in March 2007 to reduce emissions by at least 20 percent from their 1990 levels by 2020, which would be increased to 30 percent in the context of a comprehensive and ambitious international agreement. They also noted India's National Action Plan on Climate Change, aimed at further enhancing the ecological sustainability of India's development path and adapting to the effects of climate change.

A statement issued by both sides said the EU-India initiative on Clean Development and Climate Change, the EU-India Energy Panel and the EU-India Science and Technology Steering Committee are the relevant fora under which bilateral co-operation can be advanced on these important global issues.

They also decided to adopt concrete activities and practical initiatives mentioned in the following rolling joint work programme on energy, clean development and climate change:

List of Activities

Co-operation on energy

- Work together to advance co-operation on achieving safe, secure, affordable and sustainable energy supplies under the auspices of the India-EU Energy Panel and its Working Groups.

- Intensify discussions, information sharing and co-operation on coal and the full range of clean coal technologies in the EU-India Coal and Clean Coal Technologies Working Groups.

- Promote energy efficiency and energy conservation through the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Co-operation, complemented by bilateral activities as appropriate.

- Conclude negotiations on an agreement for co-operation in the field of Fusion Energy Research.

Facilitate networking of institutions for research and development in the field of renewable energy.

- Identify joint priorities for future research co-operation under the EU's 7th Framework Programme and seek to launch specific co-operation activities in selected fields of research related to energy, environment and climate change including renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, biomass, waste-to-energy and research in Clean Coal Technologies (CCT).

Co-operation on climate change

- Organise climate change workshops in areas such as Modelling Mitigation Options, deployment of climate-friendly technologies and on the future of the Clean Development Mechanism.

- Follow-up on a study on monitoring atmospheric and green house gas emissions realised in 2008.

- Establish a pool of expertise under the Action Plan Support Facility to support capacity building in India on climate change issues.

Private Sector Co-operation

- Use the European Business and Technology Centre as a platform for advancing Private Sector and Research Co-operation in the field of climate change including in the key areas of environment, energy and transport.

- Step up joint efforts to mobilise on mutually agreeable terms European Investment Bank funding to support investment projects in India that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and facilitate in particular transfers of technology for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. y Naveen Kapoor

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