India and Germany bilateral meeting on environmental issues


    In News: 

    A bilateral meeting was held between India and Germany in New Delhi to discuss a wide range of environmental issues.

    • The discussion covered areas such as climate change, water scarcity, marine & air pollution, circular economy, etc.

    Key Highlights from the Meeting

    • The importance of Indo-German bilateral cooperation on the environment
      • India appreciated efforts made by Germany in bringing new technologies to India.
      • Achievements of India in tackling climate change were also appreciated.
    • Information exchange in bilateral programmes
      • Both sides stressed the importance of information exchange in bilateral programmes keeping climate and SDG indicators in focus
      • Various sectors for such information exchange are Agro-Ecology, Solar Partnership Inter resilience.
    • Circular Economy
      • India and Germany may explore strengthening bilateral cooperation, especially on the circular economy.
      • It may include treatment of solid waste (solar panels, batteries), wastewater etc.

    Current Status of Cooperation on Environment

    • Cooperation Portfolio worth 12 billion Euros
      • Germany and India have succeeded in building up a cooperation portfolio worth almost 12 billion euros. 
      • Already, 9 out of 10 measures support climate goals and SDGs together.
    • Indo-German development cooperation focuses on three areas
      • Transition to renewable energies, 
      • Sustainable urban development and 
      • Sustainable management of natural resources. 
    • German Aid
      • As a pioneer of the energy transition, Germany is offering knowledge, technology transfer and financial solutions to India.


    Potential of Indo-German Cooperation on Different Issues

    • Expected Indian Urban Boom
      • Over half the Indian population will live in cities by 2050. 
      • The cooperation efforts support Indian policies to find sustainable solutions for this growing challenge in the face of limited urban resources and climate change.
    • COVID Pandemic
      • For over a year now, India, Germany and the entire world have been in crisis mode.
        • The Covid-19 pandemic has left no country untouched.
      • It is safe to say, we will either beat Covid-19 worldwide or not at all.
      • Further, it also drew attention away from the climate change crisis.
    • Eco-Friendly Agriculture and Agroforestry
      • Smart solutions are being tested in India and Germany for more self-reliance.
        • It includes agroecological approaches and sustainable management of forests, soils and water.
      • Experience in India has shown that these methods also boost incomes for the local population. 
        • They also make them less dependent on expensive fertilisers, pesticides and seeds.
      • Germany is looking forward to deepening the work in this area. 
    • One Health Approach and international health policies
      • Through a One Health approach, Germany wants to help tackle the challenges posed by population growth, increased mobility, shrinking habitats, industrialised farming and intensive animal husbandry.
      • One Health Approach looks at the close connections between human and animal health within their shared environment.
    • Complimentary Visions of EU’s Green Deal, German targets and Indian NAPCC
      • The EU has adopted an ambitious Green Deal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
        • It also aims to decouple economic growth from the consumption of natural resources. 
      • Germany recently adopted laws on reducing greenhouse gases more quickly, achieving climate neutrality by 2045.
        • It will also stop the use of coal for electricity production by 2038.
      • India is one of few countries that looks set to deliver on the national goals it set itself as part of the Paris agreement.
        • Compared to other G20 countries, its per capita emissions are very low.
    • IPCC Report and Paris Agreement
      • Global warming must be kept to well under 2 degrees Celsius and, if possible, to 1.5 degrees as per IPCC. 
      • Back in December 2015, 195 countries joined in Paris to sign an ambitious climate agreement. 
      • Each of those countries must deliver on its responsibilities. Climate change, too, is a crisis that can only be beaten worldwide or not at all.

    Challenges before Indo- German Relations on Environment

    • Poverty v/s Environment
      • India must bear in mind the development interests of its large population while implementing costly environmental projects. 
    • Vulnerable Global Supply Chains due to Pandemic
      • Due to assertive China and Global lockdowns, the supply chains have been disrupted worldwide.

    Conclusion and Way Forward

    • Germany identifies Indian Contribution to the Environment and has shown faith in the democratic set up of India.
      • It recognises that without India, the world will not be able to fight climate change. 
        • Without India, the world cannot achieve the SDGs. 
      • That means that India has a leading international role to play in the global race to sustainability.
    • Sustainable growth and climate action go hand in hand. 
      • India now has the opportunity to make its massive investments in infrastructure over the next 15 years climate-smart and climate-resilient. 
      • This will also protect the interests of the most vulnerable sections of the population. 
    • Innovation and Highly-trained skilled people
      • Both nations have especially innovative economies and many highly-trained people.
      • That potential needs to be harnessed even more now.
    • Ultimately, global climate goals and the SDGs can only be achieved through cooperation between governments, the private sector, science, and civil society.
      • So, each stakeholder must play its role diligently.


    Other Facts about India and Germany Relations

    • Bilateral Trade: 
      • Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe
      • Maximum Indian exports to Germany is from the textile sector, followed by chemical products, electrical engineering products, metal and leather goods and foodstuffs.
    • Germany has played a key role in reviving the India-EU free trade talks i.e Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).
    • Terrorism: 
      • Germany supports India led movement for the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
    • NSG Membership: 
      • Germany has supported India’s membership bid in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
    • G4 Grouping: 
      • India and Germany are members of G-4 along with Brazil and Japan. 
      • The G4 nations support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
    • Science and Technology: 
      • Germany is India’s second most important research partner worldwide, after the United States.
      • This is reflected in a large number of joint Indo-German scientific publications.
      • There are more than 1000 Indian postgraduate students in Germany.
      • India constitutes the second-largest group of foreign PhD students after the Chinese.


    Source: PIB