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Overview of France’s Ecological Transition Minister, Barbara Pompil’s 5-day Visit to India

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France’s ecological transition minister five day visit indiaBarbara Pompili, French Minister for Ecological Transition made a 5-day Visit to India from January 28-February 1, 2021. During the visit several key initiatives were signed & discussed between the two countries for boosting the Indo-French cooperation in sustainable development such as sustainable development, renewable energy, Biodiversity Conservation, Smart cities & plastic waste management. They are

  • Indo-French Year of the Environment for the period  2021-22
  • Discussions on Strengthening of International Solar Alliance launched by both countries in 2015
  • Signing of Letter of Intent between the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) & French Development Agency (AFD) for development of 150 MW floating solar plant
  • Signing of Credit Facility agreement with Finance Ministry to provide 250 M Euros for Surat Metro Rail Project

Indo-French Year of the Environment  for the period 2021-22:

i.It was launched by Prakash Javadekar, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) & Barbara Pompili, French Minister for Ecological Transition during the meeting between the Two Ministers.

ii.Objective – To Strengthen Indo-French cooperation in sustainable development & increasing the efficacy of actions towards global environment protection.

iii.They would be based 5 main themes

  • Environmental protection
  • Climate change
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Sustainable Urban Development
  • Development of renewable energies and energy efficiency

iv.Agencies for Cooperation:

  • From the French side it will be coordinated by the Ministry of Ecological Transition, Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Embassy of France in Delhi.
  • From the Indian side, MoEFCC, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will coordinate the events.

v.A Joint Screening Committee will be set up for finalizing the calendar of events for the Indo-French Year of the Environment.

  • During the meeting, the discussions were focussed on Climate Challenges, Global mobilization for protection of biodiversity, air pollution & joint initiative on single-use plastic.

Key Takeaways:

During the meeting, Prakash Javadekar stated that

  • India has achieved 26% of reduction of emission intensity
  • As of 2020, India’s Renewable capacity stands at 90 GW – 36GW of Solar Energy & 38 GW of Wind Energy.

Signing of letter between SECI & AFD:

During Barbara Pompil’s meeting with R K Singh,  Ministry of Power, New and Renewable Energy a letter of intent between SECI & AFD for the development of a floating solar plant of up to 150 MW was signed.

  • During the meeting, Bilateral technical cooperation on high-efficiency solar panels & new investments from French Companies in Solar Power Projects & Smart Grid in India were discussed.

Signing of Credit Facility Agreement with Finance Ministry:

AFD signed a Credit Facility Agreement with the Finance Ministry to provide 250 Million Euros for the funding of Surat Metro Rail Project.

  • It is part of France’s commitment to support Green Urban Mobility in India.
  • The two sides also discussed collaboration in Smart Cities, mobility, water & Waste management.

Other Key Meetings:

  • During her visit,  Barbara Pompili held meetings with Indian & French companies which are involved in smart mobility & sustainable city projects in Surat.
  • During her visit, Barbara Pompili also visited Kaziranga National Park in Assam. It is one of the sites of Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation (APFBC) which is being funded by AFD.
  • She also interacted with Research in the Centre of Excellence-Sustainable Polymers, IIT Guwahati who have developed India’s first biodegradable plastic.

Recent Related News:

i.November 30, 2020, India & France launched  “Bilateral Fastrack Mechanism” to increase investments during the 18th session of India France Joint Committee.

ii.On 19th June 2020, France and India signed a credit financing agreement promising 200 million euros (Rs. 1709 crore) to support the social welfare system and India’s covid response.

About France:

President –  Emmanuel Macron
Capital – Paris
Currency – Euro,CFP franc