Swedish Deputy Min­is­ter on Cli­mate vis­its Mum­bai

Power Watch India - - GREEN AHEAD FEATURE -

Swedish Deputy Min­is­ter on Cli­mate, Eva Svedling, vis­ited Mum­bai to fur­ther build up the warm re­la­tions with In­dia and strengthen col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the two coun­tries. Svedling met with Ma­ha­rash­tra Chief Min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis and Min­is­ter for En­vi­ron­ment Ram­das Kadam. The main aim of her visit was to dis­cuss cli­mate pol­icy and po­ten­tial col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ma­ha­rash­tra on cli­mate change and sus­tain­able en­vi­ron­men­tal so­lu­tions.

Swe­den is in­tro­duc­ing a new cli­mate law promis­ing zero green­house gas emis­sions by 2045 and a 70 % cut to emis­sions in the do­mes­tic trans­port sec­tor by 2030, ef­fec­tive 1 Jan­uary 2018. With a strong com­mit­ment to the Paris Agree­ment (COP 21), Swe­den is al­ready one of the most cli­mate change-con­scious and sus­tain­able coun­tries in the world. In­dia, the world’s third-largest emit­ter of green­house gases, has com­mit­ted it­self to an in­creased clean en­ergy share of 40 % by 2022 and thus this visit is not only timely - but also nec­es­sary.

The Con­sulate Gen­eral of Swe­den in Mum­bai fa­cil­i­tated var­i­ous meet­ings and or­gan­ised field vis­its in­clud­ing a visit to Deonar, where the Deputy Min­is­ter met with fe­male work­ers and vol­un­teers of Stree Mukti Sang­hatana (SMS), a non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion en­gaged in cre­at­ing aware­ness among lo­cal hous­ing so­ci­ety res­i­dents about seg­re­ga­tion of waste at source and pro­duc­ing ma­nure from this process. This pro­ce­dure of de­cen­tralised pro­cess­ing of waste saves a lot of en­ergy, which is oth­er­wise utilised in trans­port­ing waste to central dump­ing yards.

Fur­ther to this, Svedling also vis­ited the bio­gas plant at Wel­ingkar In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment, which is in­stalled by a Swedish com­pany Clean­tech - FOV bio­gas. The unit uses wet waste gen­er­ated in the cafe­te­ria to pro­duce clean en­ergy, which cater to a part of its en­ergy re­quire­ment.

Svedling also got the op­por­tu­nity to ride on a Volvo hy­brid city bus, which op­er­ates in Nav­iMum­bai and is en­vi­ron­ment friendly and has given fuel sav­ings of up to 40 % in real op­er­at­ing con­di­tions. She later at­tended a net­work­ing

din­ner hosted by the Con­sulate Gen­eral to build con­tacts and strengthen ex­ist­ing re­la­tion­ships be­tween In­dian gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, NGO’s and the Swedish del­e­ga­tion.

Speak­ing about her Mum­bai visit, Deputy Min­is­ter Eva Svedling said, “I have learnt and seen first-hand the po­ten­tial and op­por­tu­ni­ties as well as chal­lenges faced by In­dia, Ma­ha­rash­tra and Mum­bai, in re­la­tion to cli­mate change and en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity. Cli­mate change is a top pri­or­ity for the Swedish gov­ern­ment and in­cludes set­ting intermediate goals like re­duc­ing emis­sions from trans­port by 70% by 2030, as com­pared to 2010, as well as long-term goals like be­com­ing one of the first fos­sil fuel-free coun­try in the world by 2040 and net zero CO2 emis­sions by 2045, at the lat­est. I ex­changed views with both the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia as well as the Gov­ern­ment of Ma­ha­rash­tra on global cli­mate change ef­forts, on­go­ing in­ter­na­tional ne­go­ti­a­tions and the po­ten­tial for bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion. Swe­den and Swedish busi­ness are ready to work with In­dia on the im­por­tant trans­for­ma­tion tak­ing place, when it comes to Smart and healthy Cities, Re­new­able En­ergy and more. Swedish com­pa­nies at­tach great im­por­tance and are well ad­vanced on sus­tain­abil­ity and have at­trac­tive so­lu­tions for ex­am­ple in smart en­ergy, ur­ban trans­porta­tion, waste man­age­ment and air qual­ity.”

She added, “Swe­den and In­dia have ex­cel­lent re­la­tions, vis­i­ble through the im­por­tant num­ber of ex­changes on a po­lit­i­cal level in the last years. Swe­den is in the front line of ef­fi­cient en­ergy use, pro­tec­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment and cli­mate change. Back home in Swe­den we are in the process of phas­ing out fos­sil fu­els com­pletely by 2040 in an at­tempt to run wholly off re­new­able en­ergy. My visit to Mum­bai is a bid to give a boost to ex­ist­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion un­der Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing on sus­tain­able ur­ban devel­op­ment, bal­anc­ing the three di­men­sions: The eco­nomic, so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal; as well as the Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing Swe­den-In­dia Re­new­able En­ergy Co­op­er­a­tion and the MoU on en­vi­ron­ment for the well-be­ing of present and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. I ex­pect this visit will also fur­ther part­ner­ships in ar­eas of sus­tain­able en­vi­ron­ment so­lu­tions and cli­mate change- an area of mu­tual in­ter­est for both the coun­tries and a very im­por­tant part of the joint state­ment be­tween PM Ste­fan Löfvén and PM Naren­dra Modi.”

Speak­ing about the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween In­dia and Swe­den, Con­sul Gen­eral of Swe­den Ul­rika Sund­berg said, “It is in­spir­ing to see the broad range of en­gage­ment be­tween Swe­den and Ma­ha­rash­tra stretch­ing from busi­ness and in­fra­struc­ture to en­vi­ron­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, health and cul­ture. As the In­dian economy grows rapidly, one of the coun­try’s most ur­gent needs is how to han­dle the ex­pand­ing in­dus­tries en­ergy needs and harm­ful im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment and com­bat­ing cli­mate change. Ad­dress­ing cli­mate change and pro­mot­ing se­cure, af­ford­able and sus­tain­able sup­plies of en­ergy are shared strate­gic pri­or­i­ties for In­dia and Swe­den and I truly hope this visit en­hances co­op­er­a­tion in tack­ling the same for a sus­tain­able and healthy fu­ture.”

Apart from Mum­bai, the Deputy Min­is­ter also vis­ited New Delhi, where she met high rank­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and par­tic­i­pated in the In­dia Tri­lat­eral Fo­rum (ITF) con­fer­ence. The ITF is an ini­tia­tive by the Ger­man Marshall Fund of the United States and Ob­server Re­search Foun­da­tion, sup­ported by the Swedish For­eign Min­istry. The pur­pose of the con­fer­ence is to dis­cuss global and In­dian chal­lenges to­day among of­fi­cials, academia, think-tanks and busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives from In­dia, the US and Europe (hence “Tri­lat­eral”).

Es­tab­lished in Septem­ber 2012, ju­ris­dic­tion of the Swedish Con­sulate Gen­eral cov­ers Ma­ha­rash­tra, Gu­jarat and Goa – an area com­pris­ing of 173 mil­lion peo­ple. The con­sulate works closely with the Em­bassy of Swe­den in New Delhi, Busi­ness Swe­den and Swedish Cham­ber of Com­merce as Team Swe­den to help li­aise and in­crease busi­ness con­tacts be­tween Swedish and In­dian com­pa­nies within cer­tain strate­gic sec­tors, such as en­ergy and en­vi­ron­men­tal tech­nol­ogy, health care and life sci­ence and ICT.

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