India-Denmark Green Strategic Partnership

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    • Recently, India and Denmark agreed on a five-year action plan to implement their ambitious “green strategic partnership”.

    About

    • This was the first summit-level visit to India since the COVID pandemic, and the first State visit by a Danish leader since a bilateral freeze on ties a decade ago. 
    • India and Denmark signed two agreements on research in climate change, while another MoU on setting up a “green hydrogen” electrolyser plant was signed between Reliance Industries and Danish company Stiesdal Fuel Technologies.

    Green Strategic Partnership

    • Background: 
      • India and Denmark both have ambitious goals within the climate agenda. 
    • Stats:
      • India is the world’s third largest CO2 emitter and by 2030, the country is expected to have doubled its carbon emissions. 
      • The Danish government has an ambition to reduce CO2 emissions with 70 percent by 2030 and aims to undertake international leadership on SDG 7 on affordable and clean energy.  
    • On September 28 2020: 
      • The two Prime Ministers agreed to elevate the Indo-Danish relations to a Green Strategic Partnership after an exchange of views in a friendly atmosphere on bilateral relations, the Covid-19 pandemic and global matters, including climate change and green transition. 
    • Overall: 
      • The two countries firmed up a five-year action plan to implement their ambitious “green strategic partnership” and signed four agreements to deepen cooperation in green technologies
    • Aim: 
      • The green partnership aims to create a framework for significant expansion of cooperation in areas of renewable energy, environment, economy, climate change and science and technology.
    • Time period: 
      • Joint action plan for five years from 2021 to 2026 for the implementation of the “green strategic partnership” that was firmed up last year. 
    • Based on:
      • The Green Strategic partnership builds on and consolidates the existing agreement establishing a Joint Commission for Cooperation between India and Denmark. 
      • The partnership is a mutually beneficial arrangement to advance political cooperation, expand economic relations and green growth, create jobs and strengthen cooperation on addressing global challenges and opportunities; with focus on an ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
    • Low carbon growth:
      • Focused on ways to augment and consolidate green and low carbon growth as reflected in the five year action plan. “
      • his includes the following sectors: 
        • water, 
        • environment, 
        • renewable energy and its integration into the grid, 
        • climate action, 
        • resource efficiency and circular economy, 
        • sustainable and smart cities, 
        • business, trade and investments

    Talks on Topics

    • Arms drop case: 
      • India raised the issue of extradition of Kim Davy, the prime accused in the 1995 Purulia arms drop case, and it was agreed that the legal process in the matter must go forward.
    • Afghanistan:
      • Contemporary regional and global developments including the situation in Afghanistan and expressed their commitment to continuing support to the Afghan people.
      • Underlined focus on the need for inclusivity in Afghanistan, counter-terrorism guarantees and respect for human rights, in particular women’s rights, in accordance with UNSC Resolution 2593.
        • The UNSC resolution, adopted on 30 August under India’s presidency of the global body, talked about the need for upholding human rights in Afghanistan, demanded that Afghan territory should not be used for terrorism and that a negotiated political settlement should be found out to the crisis.
    • Climate Change:
      • Reiterated the commitment to increasing cooperation on climate change in the near future. 
      • Denmark has become a member of the International Solar Alliance. This has added a new dimension to the cooperation between the two countries.
    • EU strategy on Indo Pacific:
      • Both countries welcomed the recent announcement of a EU strategy on Indo-Pacific and noted the plans for increased European engagement in the region. 
      • The decision by India and the European Union to resume negotiations of an ambitious, balanced, comprehensive and mutually beneficial free trade agreement and launch negotiations on a separate investment agreement.
    • UNSC Permanent Membership:
      • Denmark reiterated its support for India’s permanent membership of a reformed and expanded UN Security Council.
    • Agriculture:
      • In order to increase the agricultural productivity and income of farmers in India, it is decided to cooperate in agriculture-related technology. 
      • Under this, work will be done on the technologies of many areas like: 
        • food safety, 
        • cold chain, 
        • food processing, 
        • Fertilizers,
        • fisheries, aquaculture,
      • Cooperation in Smart Water Resource Management, ‘Waste to Best’, and efficient supply chains.
    • Agreements:
      • The two sides inked four government-to-government agreements that will provide for deepening of cooperation in areas of: 
        • water, 
        • science and technology and 
        • climate change. 
      • Three commercial agreements were also announced that included an MoU between Reliance Industries and Stiesdal Fuel Technologies for developing a hydrogen electrolyser and its subsequent manufacturing and deployment in India. 
      • Another MoU between Infosys Technologies and Aarhus University was finalised to establish a centre of excellence for sustainability solutions in Denmark.

    Significance

    • Boost to Make in India:
      • Currently, over 140 Danish companies are participating in the Make in India initiative.
    • Fighting air Pollution:
      • Danish companies with niche technologies and expertise have offered to help India in meeting its air pollution control targets, including in the key area of tackling the problem of burning crop stubble.
    • Green growth:
      • The Green Strategic Partnership is a mutually beneficial arrangement to advance political cooperation, expand economic relations and green growth, create jobs and strengthen cooperation on addressing global challenges and opportunities; with focus on an ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
    • Promote 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.
    • Sharing healthy best practices:
      • 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.

    Way Ahead

    • Continue to expand the scope of the cooperation, adding new dimensions to it. 
    • Initiate new partnerships in the field of health. 
    • By partnering, India and Denmark will demonstrate to the world that delivering on ambitious climate and sustainable energy goals is possible.

     

    Denmark

    Image Courtesy: BBC 

    • Denmark is situated north of Germany and is surrounded by its Scandinavian neighbours. Denmark also has two autonomous provinces – the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
    • Denmark is known for its strong welfare state system and it is one of the most egalitarian societies in the world. In 2013 Denmark was once again ranked the happiest country in the world.
    • Basic facts:
      • Population: Approximately 5,4 million inhabitants – this amounts to roughly 1,4 % of the total EU population
      • Capital: Copenhagen (1 million inhabitants)
      • Form of government: Denmark is a monarchy and a modern democracy
      • Placement: Denmark is located in Northern Europe between the North Sea and the Baltic. Denmark also includes the Faroe Islands and Greenland in the North Atlantic. Denmark lies between 54° and 58° of latitude north and 8° and 15° of longitude east.
      • The islands in Denmark: The country consists of the peninsula of Jutland and approximately 406 islands, of which 78 are inhabited (2003). Of these, the largest and most densely populated are Zealand on which the capital of Copenhagen is situated. In addition to Denmark itself, the kingdom also includes the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
      • Geography: The highest point is 170.68 meter above sea level. Everywhere in Denmark is 50 km from the sea.
      • Climate: The climate is temperate coastal climate, January and February are the coldest months with an average temperature of 0.0°C and August the warmest with an average temperature of 15.7°C.  The average wind force across the year is 7.6 m per second, which helps explain why Denmark is the world’s largest exporter of wind turbines.
      • Cultivation: 62% of Denmark’s total area is cultivated, the highest percentage in Europe. 56% of the land is used for growing corn (cereal), 20% for grass, 4% for roots and 4% for seed.

     

    Source: PIB