India-Denmark enter into Green Strategic Partnership
Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi co-chaired a Virtual Summit between India and Denmark recently in which they held an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations, discussed the Covid-19 pandemic and global matters of interest to both sides, including climate change and green transition and reached common understanding with a view to accelerating sustainable economies and societies. The two Prime Ministers agreed to elevate India-Denmark relations to a Green Strategic Partnership. This partnership would build on and consolidate the existing agreement establishing a Joint Commission for Cooperation (signed 6 February 2009) between India and Denmark which envisaged cooperation within the political field; economic and commercial field; science and technology; environment; energy; education and culture. In addition, it builds on and complements the existing Joint Working Groups on Renewable Energy, Urban Development, Environment, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Food Processing, Science, Technology and Innovation, Shipping, Labour Mobility and Digitization. It will focus on an ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Energy and Climate Change: The two Prime Ministers confirmed the close partnership in addressing global challenges and solutions on green energy transition and climate change. The Strategic Sector Cooperation on offshore wind and renewable energy, as well as the India-Denmark Energy Partnership (INDEP) on capacity building, knowledge-sharing and technology transfer on wind energy; energy modeling and integration of renewable energy illustrate the shared commitment to address some of the common global challenges on the path towards global energy transition, green growth and sustainable development. The two sides envisage the energy partnership to be further strengthened over the coming years. India and Denmark agree to be at the forefront in the global fight against climate change. Both countries have set very ambitious national targets on climate and energy that will contribute to an ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement. Together, the two countries will show the world that delivering on ambitious climate and sustainable energy goals is possible. The two countries agreed to hold regular consultations and dialogue on climate change and renewable energy at various levels.
Environment/Water and Circular Economy: The two Prime Ministers agreed to work towards further expanding and strengthening the existing Government-to-Government cooperation on environment/water and circular economy. They further agreed to cooperate in water efficiency and non-revenue water (water loss) and in this context tasked the Indian Ministry of Jal Shakti and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food to develop a Work Plan for an initial period of three years (2021-23). The two Prime Ministers expressed their joint wish to enhance cooperation in the specific areas of water supply, water distribution, wastewater treatment, sewerage systems, re-use of treated wastewater, water management and energy optimization in the water sector through the Indo-Danish Water Technology Alliance.
Sustainable Urban Development including Smart Cities: Both sides noted the holding of 2nd India-Denmark JWG on Sustainable Urban Development virtually on June 26, 2020 and agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in sustainable urban development, including in smart cities through the Urban Living Lab in Goa. Both sides also agreed to strengthen existing City-to-City cooperation between Udaipur and Aarhus and Tumakuru and Aalborg. They noted that Danish companies are contributing to designing infrastructure projects in India and welcomed greater engagement of Danish side in all fields of sustainable urban development.
Business, Trade and Shipping: The two Prime Ministers welcomed the idea of developing partnerships between Governments, institutions and businesses of the two countries with special focus on green and climate-friendly technologies. They recognized the importance of regulatory framework conditions to support public and private investments in green energy. Both leaders appreciated the deep cooperation on maritime affairs and noted the potential for enhancing cooperation in ship-building and design, maritime services and Green shipping, as well as port development. The two Prime Ministers underlined that they would encourage business delegations, market access activities for SMEs and enhance ease of doing business. India and Denmark confirmed the emerging cooperation in Intellectual Property Rights, which will help to modernize and strengthen their national intellectual property systems to promote innovation, creativity and technological advancement.
Science, Technology, Innovation and Digitization: India and Denmark recognize the importance of promoting and facilitating investments in science, technology and innovation (STI) via strong public-private partnerships as an important way to accelerate technology development and the implementation of new solutions. Collaboration in STI supports the Green Strategic Partnership by promoting and strengthening relations between authorities, small and large companies and research and higher education institutions in India and Denmark. The two sides agree to build on existing strong bilateral STI partnerships with joint calls for projects in areas such as energy, water, bio-resources and ICT. The two leaders recognized their shared interest in digitization and digital solutions and business models in the green transition and decided to collaborate for enhancement of development, innovation and demonstration in the field of digital technologies to support green sustainable growth.
Food and Agriculture: Given the immense potential to collaborate in the agricultural sector, the two Prime Ministers encouraged fostering deeper and closer cooperation between authorities, businesses and research institutions in the sectors of food processing and food safety, as well as animal husbandry and dairying.
Health and Life Science: Both sides emphasized the potential and their common desire to strengthen the dialogue and cooperation in the health sector. They confirmed their interest in expanding dialogue and sharing best practices on health policy issues, including on epidemics and vaccines, especially to combat Covid-19 and future pandemics. They agreed to work on expanding commercial opportunities for businesses by creating more favorable environments for the life science sector, including research collaborations.
Cultural Cooperation, People-to-People contacts and Labour Mobility: The two Prime Ministers acknowledged that the richness of the relationship between India and Denmark is a result of the long standing people-to-people contacts and agreed to further promote greater awareness and mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries through cultural cooperation. Both sides agreed to examine the possibilities for labour mobility, as well as to consider ease of travel between the two countries to facilitate greater people-to-people interaction and strengthen cooperation in the tourism sector
Multilateral Cooperation: The two Prime Ministers agree to join efforts and initiatives to support and promote a rule-based multilateral system. This includes strong multilateral cooperation to face the urgency to step up global efforts to combat the global challenges on energy and climate change and common commitment to the International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency and the International Solar Alliance. Both sides supported the need for cooperation on promotion of an open, inclusive and rule-based multilateral trading system under the WTO at its core to promote global growth and sustainable development. Both sides expressed their support for the ongoing discussions to reform the WTO. Both sides agreed that the Arctic Cooperation within the framework of Arctic Council has a global dimension and is essential for addressing the need of environmental protection and combating climate change. In this spirit, both sides expressed their willingness for collaboration within the framework of the Arctic Council in the area of climate change.
In conclusion, the two leaders expressed their conviction that a decision of the two countries to establish Green Strategic Partnership between the Kingdom of Denmark and the Republic of India had opened a new chapter in the friendly and cooperative relations between them.