German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in India; climate talks, river cleaning high on agenda

Just days after India unveiled its climate action plan targeting to cut its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 33-35%, climate change negotiations and financing for clean energy will be one the focal points of discussion between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in India; climate talks, river cleaning high on agenda

New Delhi: German Chancellor Angela Merkel being received by the Minister of State for Finance,Jayant Sinha on her arrival, at the Air Force Station Palam in New Delhi on sunday. PTI

For this third inter-governmental consultation, Merkel is being accompanied by her senior federal ministers and a strong business delegation.

The German chancellor is no stranger in dealing with climate change talks as she has served as the country’s former environment minister and has led the country through a shift in its energy production from nuclear energy to renewable energy. Ahead of Merkel’s visit German ambassador Martin Ney said, “Germany is among the world’s champions for green technologies and co-operates with India in many related areas such as energy efficiency and green energy corridors.”

It is likely that the two countries may ink a deal on cleaning and rejuvenation of River Ganga that has been discussed earlier this year with ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation. “Germany has already demonstrated its skills in cleaning two of its major rivers, Rhine and Elbe, which were heavily polluted but are now swimmable. Germany has already offered its expertise in cleaning Ganga and Yamuna,” ambassador Ney had said last week.

According to officials from the ministry for environment, forests and climate change (MoEF&CC) PM Modi and Chancellor Merkel’s joint statement will include the key take-away’s from their discussion on climate change ahead of the Paris climate summit in December.

In its climate action plan, India has set an ambitious target of increasing the share of non-fossil fuel energy up to 40 per cent. India’s overall climate action target require $2.3 trillion and it has made it clear that funding from the developing countries through the green climate fund will be crucial. In this backdrop, Monday’s intergovernmental consultation may also see Germany commit to finance India’s climate action targets and extend co-operation on technology transfers in the field of renewable energy.

Earlier this year, environment minister Prakash Javadekar had held a bilateral meeting with his German counterpart Dr.Barbara Hendricks on climate change and sustainable development. Dr.Hendricks had supported India’s stand to adopt both mitigation and adaptation to fight climate change and it was also decided to form working groups on water management and circular economy.