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France extends €1b for sustainable development in India

Jul 02, 2014

France has proposed to give India a 1 billion euro ($1.4 billion) credit line to fund sustainable infrastructure and urban development project.

New Delhi: Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, opened the Indo-French dialogue, which aims at bringing together French and Indian academics, scientists and companies to address climate change issues from various angles: energy, water, sustainable urban development, adaptation and mitigation, finance, macroeconomics and related technologies.

Fabius was speaking during a a panel discussion on “Sustainable Growth in Response to Climate Change: Indo-French Perspectives” in New Delhi. The panel discussion was organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Recalling that France will host the “Paris Climate Conference” in December 2015, Minister Fabius stressed that, as impartial facilitator, France is reaching out to all countries. In this respect, his current visit aims at understanding India’s challenges, gleaning its ideas and learning of its initiatives.

Minister Fabius outlined five areas of concrete cooperation between France and India: cooperation on carbon-free energy (off-shore wind energy, ocean thermal energy); developing our partnership on civilian nuclear energy; water-management in the context of the ambitious Indian projects on the Ganga and other rivers; urban development; and space and earth observation. Private companies have a central role to play and Minister Fabius hailed the substantial cooperation that already exists between French and Indian companies in key sectors such as energy, water and transport.

In order to boost cooperation between France and India, Minister Fabius announced that France is proposing a credit line of up to 1 billion Euros (Rs 8,200 crores) over the next three years for sustainable infrastructure and urban development in India through the French Development Agency (AFD).

Minister Fabius emphasized six principles: ambition to bring the planet back on track with the 2°C limit; fair participation; equity; trust and transparency as the basis of the viability of an agreement; cooperation; flexibility to reach a universal framework which will provide incentives for all countries to join the global “race to the top” for low-carbon development.

In his message, Dr R K Pachauri, Director General, TERI, said: “We need to take concrete action at the global level, which I hope people will understand. India for its own sake can go a great deal since we are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. As a country of 1.2 billion plus people, whatever we do is of enormous value to the world. We should raise our level of ambition and lead by an example for the world to follow.”

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