They also visited Water Metro project sites and also probed the potential to collaborate in waste management
Three key ambassadors from Europe who converged in Kochi on the fifth anniversary of Paris Agreement on combating climate change, said that sustainable growth and job creation is possible in the post-Covid era through a ‘green economy’.
In Europe, 30 % of financial packages are for green projects, said EU Ambassador to India Ugo Astuto. It is high time countries rose to the threat posed by climate change, since cities worldwide contribute to 75 % of toxic emissions. India too has committed itself to the Paris Agreement, he said, while the three diplomats addressed media persons at a ‘stake out’ here on Saturday.
The German Ambassador to India Walter J. Lindner said Kerala, especially Kochi, has won global acclaim since the international airport here is the only one in the entire world that is powered entirely by solar energy. The city has also been identified as a hub for green mobility, especially since the Water Metro project is on the anvil. E-rickshaws and e-buses are set to operate as feeder services to modes of public transport like Kochi Metro. A smart card that can be used for different modes of transport is an added attraction, he said.
Already, German bank KfW has extended a ₹1,400 crore loan to rebuild roads in Kerala, Mr. Linder said.
Referring to efforts for a green economy in France, French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain said his country has set 2050 as the deadline to become carbon neutral, as part of efforts to overcome the climate crisis. We are cooperating with Kerala on rolling out many e-mobility initiatives, to further the cause of sustainable travel.
Every year, French development agencies finance ₹300 million Euro for new projects worldwide. The focus is on innovative, eco-friendly and gender-specific projects, including in Kerala.
There will not be any trade off between growth and sustainability, Mr Lenain said and added that ‘smart green projects’ in mobility and other areas are set to be one of the biggest engines for economic growth in the coming years. This is especially so since millions of people are migrating to cities, especially in India.
The Ambassadors visited Water Metro project sites and also probed the potential to collaborate in waste management.