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Green Economy & Climate Change Cooperation between India and the European Union/ UK


As part of EICBI’s campaign called “EuropeIndia40 VIEWS: Hear from the leaders who will shape the future of UK–India/ EU–India relations’’ an initiative to promote the works of #EuropeIndia40 leaders, the 2nd MINI SUMMIT was successfully delivered virtually on the 26th of February 2021. The 1st Mini summit was on the IMPACT OF BREXIT ON EU INDIA AND UK INDIA RELATIONS AND WAS HELD on 22nd January.


The Mini Summit saw prominent current leaders sharing the stage with EuropeIndia40 Leaders to discuss the Green Economy and Climate Change Co operation between India and UK / EU. Current Leaders from British Parliament, European Parliament, and Indian Parliament who participated in the discussion were

  • Dr Kirit P Solanki MP, Member of Parliament - India/ Member- Standing Committee on Environment, Forest & Climate Change

  • Ms Svenja Hahn MEP, Member of European Parliament - Germany

  • Mr Robert Peter Moore MP, Member of Parliament - United Kingdom/ Member of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee

EuropeIndia40 Leaders who were part of the panel discussions included

  • Ms. Silvia de Vaan - CEO & Founder, Sweepsmart - NETHERLANDS

  • Mr Kaushal Shah - Founder & CEO, Envopap - UNITED KINGDOM

  • Mr Sumeet Kabra - Director, RR Global - INDIA

  • Mr Adam Savitz - Managing Director, Xynteo - UNITED KINGDOM

  • Dr Manu Sasidharan - Research Fellow, University of Cambridge - UNITED KINGDOM

  • Ms Judith Weinberger-Singh - Associate Director, European Business and Technology Centre - INDIA

  • Mr. Naveen Madishetty - Founder, Chakra Green Solutions - INDIA

  • Mr Marius Ochel - Head of Cluster International Association Partnerships Africa & India, German Association of the Automotive Industry - GERMANY

Delivering his keynote address, Dr. Kirit P Solanki, Honorable Member of Parliament of India / Member - Standing Committee on Environment, Forest & Climate Change emphasized how climate change is one of the most hazardous things for the world and believes that it is more hazardous than terrorism. According to him development and industry growth should go along keeping climate change in mind to keep a balance between both and avoid the future repercussions of inaction. He further mentions honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji who has been addressing climate change since he was Chief Minister of Gujarat, way before he became Prime Minister of India. According to him, we must all be very much sensitive to prevent changes in climate and pollution. He stated that developed countries should be held responsible for this climate change and how they should accept the responsibility and help in countering climate change. He further stated that India is one of the fastest-growing economies and how honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji has always focused on green and renewable energy as he understands the tremendous scope of renewable energy like solar and wind energy. He expressed his adoration towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his contribution to renewable energy that made India one of the leading countries for the production of renewable energy. Dr. Kirit P Solanki also talked about how the government is encouraging rooftop solar plants because of Indian’s geographical features that receive tremendous solar sunlight and use this in strategic ways to produce green energy to move towards a green economy. He emphasized the need to reduce and control carbon monoxide emission and how India is committed to this goal by being a part of the Paris agreement which was signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji who aims to abide by its rules. On answering a question by a member in the audience, he replied that India is always eager to have a more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which helps in the development of the country and also stressed how India has a tremendous opportunity in different fields to have the FDI whether it is in a field of infrastructure, mines, and the field of energy production.


Delivering her keynote address, Ms Svenja Hahn MEP, Member of European Parliament - Germany, emphasized how climate change and sustainable growth are important questions at present. She stated that the EU and India have had a long-standing partnership and experience of cooperation in the area of economy and combating climate change and she believes that this cooperation between both is picking up.

She stated that “global issues require global solutions”, and how the EU and India need to lead by an example, not just on our own but also together, therefore stresses the need for bilateral cooperation to reach the goals on a multinational level. The EU and India have several partnership dialogues, ongoing projects when it comes to different aspects of combating climate change like the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030. She also stressed how important it is to shift from a linear to a more circular economy if we are serious about these issues. Therefore, to make our economies more sustainable and allow for more sustainable growth we need to bring climate action and trade dialogue into real-life action according to her. Responding to a question from a panelist, she said that actions need to be cross-cutting and implemented at every level from all policies, research, innovation as well as development policy and human rights policies, etc. along with international cooperation. She concluded by saying that the best possible way to tackle these issues and reach our goals will only be obtained by cooperation bilaterally, and multilaterally and she believes that the EU and India together can achieve a lot of this area.


Delivering his keynote address, Mr Robbie Moore MP, Member of British Parliament/ Member of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee stated that India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world which makes it a crucial partner to the United Kingdom and looks forward to further cooperation between both the countries at a multilateral level in creating a green economy and tackling climate change issues. He pointed out that the bilateral trade between both stands at nearly 24 billion pounds and it saw a growth of 11% in the last year alone. While he believes that it is not just a benefit in terms of the financial returns for the UK and India, but it can also help in terms of targeting development assistance. He went on to highlight that both countries have been working together in the fight against Coronavirus, where the UK received over 11 million face masks and 3 million packets of paracetamol from India during the pandemic. He addressed India as ‘the pharmacy of the world’, as over 1 billion doses of the UK's Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine are being manufactured in India. Therefore, he believes that this collaborative response to the COVID-19 pandemic will create an opportunity for further collaboration and not a hindrance in building a green economy. He further said that this partnership between both is invaluable and indispensable and believes that it can be further strengthened in the years ahead. Mr. Robbie Moore also emphasized the need to extend the relationship between the UK and India beyond trade as this cooperation is crucial for building a green economy and tackling climate change. There are more than 400 British companies based in India, and some of those are at the forefront in tackling climate change. There are also UK firms that are investing in jobs and opportunities for the development of renewable energy in India, as well as in the manufacturing of electric cars. He believes that the future holds the real possibility for the UK and India in the fight against climate change, and by working together collectively both can achieve so much more and ensure to leave the planet in a much better state for many generations to come.


The Panel discussion on 'Green Economy Co operation between India and UK / EU, was moderated by Arun M Battula, one of the Vice Chairs at EICBI.org. Following #EuropeIndia40 leaders participate in the panel discussion

  • Ms. Silvia de Vaan - CEO & Founder, Sweepsmart - NETHERLANDS

  • Mr Kaushal Shah - Founder & CEO, Envopap - UNITED KINGDOM

  • Mr Sumeet Kabra - Director, RR Global - INDIA

  • Mr Adam Savitz - Managing Director, Xynteo - UNITED KINGDOM


Silvia's views were around, the successes from the Swatch Bharat Mission, Smart Cities Initiatives, Solid Waste Management rules and the plastic waste management rules by the Government of India. Silvia is the founder of the Dutch India company, Sweepsmart, with the Mission to create Zero waste ecosystems. Silvia recollected a few Bottom up initiatives that are driven by Citizens' collectives successfully, but called for more coordinated action by the Industry, Governments and the collectives to create change at scale. She stressed the need for additional funds, and systems thinking to sustain the initiatives.


Kaushal, highlighted how focused efforts through Research and Innovation can create products and services that are delivered by EnvoPap, using resources that were considered complete waste earlier, like the Sugar Cane Pulp, to create profitable businesses with sustained growth rates.


Sumeet, applauded the Government of India’s role in encouraging technology adaptation as the government has also committed a deadline of 2024 or 2030 to get all old gasoline scooters converted into electric scooters. He believes that a complete shift to sustainable fuel may take time as we have a huge population but it will definitely happen in the future.


Adam believes that we all have this real opportunity to leverage private finance which they all want to work with businesses to truly transform systems to electrify the whole of the EU, to bring that learning to India, things that aren't before. He also highlighted the UK's Net Zero ambitions and opportunities to collaborate in funded programs.

The panel discussion ended on a highly positive note, with confidence that Change is happening in the expected direction, but time is critical, hence systems approach and further collaborations are needed for speed and scale.


The Panel discussion on 'Climate Change Co operation between India and UK/ EU' was moderated by Ms. Priyadarshini Natarajan - Associate Editor, Diplomacy & Beyond Plus. Following #EuropeIndia40 leaders participate in the panel discussion


  • Dr Manu Sasidharan - Research Fellow, University of Cambridge - UNITED KINGDOM

  • Ms Judith Weinberger-Singh - Associate Director, European Business and Technology Centre - INDIA

  • Mr. Naveen Madishetty - Founder, Chakra Green Solutions - INDIA

  • Mr Marius Ochel - Head of Cluster International Association Partnerships Africa & India, German Association of the Automotive Industry - GERMANY


Manu spoke about making transport infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather events. He also highlighted why we should look at twinning European and Indian cities for #ClimateAction, setting up a systematic & formal arrangement for climate-action related knowledge exchange & partnerships at local levels


Judith spoke about formalising frame works so as to exchange best practices. She put forth 3 pillars for making climate change measures visible on the ground. These included Technology Dimension, financial aspects and business models.


Naveen mentioned that the biggest challenge for India will be to have sustainable development and also meet climate action plan.


Marcel mentioned that signing of FTA between EU and India will help in free flow of those important technologies from Europe to India which will help India to better combat climate change. He also mentioned about not focussing on all new cars to be made electric but also focus on the existing fleet to combat climate change


This article has been compiled by EICBI’s project intern, Ms. Anupriya, under the guidance of their project mentor Ms. Ritika Gupta from Internshape.

The recordings of this interaction can be viewed from this link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdMaRExecOo

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