EU Climate Diplomacy Weeks 2021 – Ambition and Action

EU Climate Diplomacy Weeks 2021 – Ambition and Action

Introduction 

In September and October, EU Delegations and Embassies of EU Member States around the world organised activities and hosted events to foster dialogue and cooperation on climate change, showcase success stories and inspire further action.

The Climate Diplomacy Weeks in India took place from 29 September to 30 October 2021. For the programme see here

A highlight of the Climate Diplomacy Weeks was the 3 days visit by European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Mr Frans Timmermans from 20 to 22 October:

  • Link to press release on the opening of the ISA Assembly: click here
  • Link to press release on youth event with TERI: click here
  • Link to the youth event (was also live streamed on Facebook): click here
  • Link to press release summarising the visit: click here

Follow the Climate Diplomacy Weeks via: #ClimateNeutralEU and #EUClimateAction

Ambition and Action 

The central theme for the Climate Diplomacy Weeks this year was Ambition and Action. Climate change is an existential threat to humanity. Global climate action still falls short of what is required to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and keep the increase of global temperatures below 1.5°C.

In August 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its report on the physical science of climate change. This report is the most up-to-date scientific assessment of how and why our climate is changing. Its findings confirm that the world is warming rapidly due to human influence. It confirms that climate change is here to stay, and that some of its effects are unavoidable. The report stresses that keeping temperature increase below 1.5°C is still within reach if countries scale up global ambition.

Clear action and more ambition are needed internationally if we are to arrive in Glasgow for the critically important UNFCCCCOP26 with global commitments that keep the 1.5°C limit on global temperature within sight. The only way to achieve that is for all Parties to submit or enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Long-Term Strategies that sets each of us on a pathway to net zero emissions.

EU commitment to the Paris Agreement: EU ambition and action

The EU is doing its share. In December 2019, the European Commission adopted the Communication on the EU Green Deal. It is the new EU roadmap towards climate neutrality by 2050 and the EUs new environmentally and socially sustainable growth strategy.

In December 2020, the EU submitted to the UNFCCC, in the context of the Paris Agreement, the update of the nationally determined contribution of the European Union and its Member States. It contains an updated and enhanced target of at least 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. It contains also the EU commitment (long-term strategy) to reach climate neutrality by 2050.
In February 2021, the EU adopted a new EU Adaptation Strategy. The strategy increases the EU's ambition on climate adaptation, making adaptation smarter, faster, more systemic, and more international. The Strategy is complemented through the submission of the EU’s first Adaptation Communication to the UNFCCC, scheduled for adoption by the Council prior to the COP26.

In June 2021, the European Climate Law was adopted. The European Climate Law enshrines into law the goal set out in the European Green Deal – for Europe’s economy and society to become climate neutral by 2050 and sets the framework for achieving progress in enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change. The European Climate Law also sets in law the new net greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least -55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

In July 2021, the European Commission adopted a package of legislative and policy proposals to deliver the emission reduction targets set in the European Climate Law – the Fit for 55 package.

EU - India Cooperation on Climate Change – The EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership

When it comes to climate change, Europe is committed to act but also to support and to work together with other countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change. With the EU Green Deal at the core of our domestic and external policies, cooperation with India in the area of climate change and the clean energy transition is a key priority under our EU-India Strategic Partnership.

The current EU-India climate and energy relations are guided by the India-EU Clean Energy and Climate Partnership that was agreed at the EU-India Summit on 30 March 2016 with the aim of reinforcing cooperation on clean energy and implementation of the Paris Agreement. This partnership was reconfirmed in the joint statement at the EU-India Summit on 6 October 2017. In the Joint Statement and the EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025 agreed at the EU-India Summit on 15 July 2020, as well as the EU-India Leaders Meeting on 8 May 2021, the cooperation under the Clean Energy and Climate Change was again welcomed. It was agreed that the 2016 EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership should be strengthened. At the 8 May Leaders Meeting also a new Connectivity Partnerships was agreed.

This Partnership is implemented through several EU-India projects, including:

  • The EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership project (CECP) project
  • The Strategic Partnerships on the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPIPA) project.

In addition the EU and India work together under the EU-India Water Partnership, the EU-India Smart and Sustainable Urbanisation Partnership and under the Resource Efficiency Initiative and in the area of Biodiversity.

In addition the EU is very keen on close cooperation with the International Solar Alliance (launched by India and France at COP21 in Paris), with which it has signed a joined declaration in 2018, and with the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (launched by India), to which it became a Member in March 2021. More and more EU Member States are becoming a Member of these two important international organisations, both based in India.

Examples of cooperation under the EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership

Under the EU Clean Energy and Climate Partnership there is a very rich and ever increasing list of activities aiming at strengthening the cooperation between the EU and India in the area of energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart grids, power market design, sustainable finance, climate change awareness, knowledge management, mitigation and adaptation. Please find below some examples of these activities.

Energy efficiency

From 2015 to 2019 the EU did a project supporting the implementation of the nationally developed Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) Scheme for commercial buildings in 4 different states. 

Another project is the Eco-Cities India project, funded by the EU and co-funded by IFC. It is a multi-year technical advisory program, established under the EU-India Cooperation on Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency. A climate-change focused initiative, the program is structured around five cities—Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, and the Mumbai and Pune metropolitan regions. The program is designed to assist government and civil society in meeting efficiency targets, reductions in emissions levels and increased focus on climate-resilient development pledged under the Paris Climate Agreement

Renewable Energy 

In the area of offshore wind energy the cooperation between the EU and India is inter alia shaped through two completed large EU funded projects. The first one was the Facilitating Offshore Wind in India (FOWIND) project, which focused on the identification of the potential for offshore wind in India, through baseline technical commercial analysis and preliminary resource assessment. The second one, called the First Offshore Wind Project of India (FOWPI), went in more detail with the provision of technical assistance in the implementation of a potential first offshore wind farm project of India, including capacity building, facilitation of technical dialogue, and several studies needed for such first wind farm. In 2019 a study tour was organised for an Indian delegation focusing on ports, logistics, and infrastructure required for offshore wind in India and the impacts on the local economy and job creation. Both in 2020 (at RE Invest) and in 2021 (at REI Expo) the EU presented studies relevant for the offshore wind sector in India, respectively on the supply chain and the required skills. 

In the area of solar energy the EU did two completed projects, one providing technical assistance for the implementation and management of identified solar parks, with different activities in total 16 Indian States. The other project concerned the establishment of a PV Rooftop Cell under the “Technical Cooperation for Energy and Environment in India”. The Cell aimed at promoting and implementing a Grid Connected and Small Power Plant Programme in India, including through the promotion of the PV Rooftop Programme at various platforms, development of Model and Standard documents, trainings and webinars for various stakeholders. Several studies have been done and are ongoing, including the study that has been done on “PV Waste Management in India” report, was launched on 26 March 2021 by the EU and India at the Solar India Summit under the 6th Smart Cities Indian Expo 2021 and a report that is about to be finalised on business models for rooftop solar, on which a session was organised during REI Expo 2021. 

Smart Grids 

With Europe’s and India’s ambitious targets on renewable energy it is a pre-requisite to have smart and efficient networks to optimally utilise the renewable energy installed capacity. Since 2015 more than 10 EU-India Smart Grid Workshops have been held in Europe and India, involving European policy makers, network operators, regulators and technology providers to discuss European and Indian demonstration projects, the evolving role of distribution system operators, regulatory frameworks. Next to the workshops, joint EU-India smart grid demonstration projects are co-financed through the Horizon 2020 programme (See also ISUW 2021, ISUW 2020 and ISUW 2019 ). Recently a High Level Platform on Smart Grids have been established, aiming inter alia at creating a handbook for the replication of promising pilot projects. 

Power Market Design

In addition to the workshops on smart grids, also 4 workshops have been organised on exchange European and Indian experiences and knowledge on the necessary regulatory frameworks to enable large-scale integration of renewable electricity and on the power market design. Currently the 5th Webinar Series on Energy Regulation is ongoing. 

Sustainable finance

The EU and India also exchange information on importance of mobilising finance towards environmentally sustainable investments and its relevance amid the pandemic. Both are a Member of the International Platform on Sustainable Finance, which was launched in October 2019. The ultimate objective of the platform is to scale up private capital flows for environmentally sustainable investments. A webinar focusing on sustainable financing and renewable energy was organised a year after the establishment, in October 2000. In October 2019 an event was organised together with the ISA on financing for the solar sector

Green recovery

Both India and the EU are trying to cope with and recover from the health and economic impacts of the COVID pandemic. Also the renewable energy sector has been affected as a result of reduced demand, disruptions of the supply chain and logistics, project implementation delays and other hindrances related to maintaining reliable green power generation. A webinar was organised in July 2020 to share and experiences between the EU and Indian policy makers and stakeholders on possible ways to emerge stronger and better out of this crisis as well as a High Level Webinar on the concept of Green Recovery in general. 

Climate awareness – the Youth Climate Conclave 

The Youth Climate Conclave is an initiative of the EU, together with GIZ India, CEEW and TERI. The initiative is financed and implemented under the Strategic Partnership for Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPIPA) project, where the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) is the nodal ministry. For more information about the first conclave and the competition. The conclave seeks to engage in a positive and proactive way Indian youth in science based discussions on the most relevant climate change issues. 

Adaptation to Climate Change

Under the SPIPA project several events have been organised on adaptation to climate change, to exchange experiences and knowledge between the EU and India. Events were organised on climate adaptation and coastal cities (in Mumbai in February 2020,and at the World Sustainable Development Summit in 2021). In June 2020 an event was organised together with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Indian States and Union Territories to share experiences on adaptation planning and implementation. Follow-up webinars are organised in the context of the Adaptation Futures Conference that will take place from 4-8 August. 

Activities in India during the Climate Diplomacy Weeks from 29 September to 30 October 
 

Date EU Climate Diplomacy Weeks Other relevant events
September 2021
29 September - 1 October

2nd Youth Climate Conclave

To Register click here

 
29 September

Launch of e-Certificate Course on Mainstreaming Urban Climate Action
(EU-India Partnership on Smart and Sustainable Urbanisation)

To Register click here

 
October 2021
1 October, 04:00 PM - 06:00PM IST

Samwad (conversation) on "Community-led Adaptation: Water is Life"
Collaboration with Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), New Delhi and International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), Dhaka, Bangladesh

To Register click here

 
1 October   5th debate under "Webinar Series on Energy Regulation": Retail electricity competition: what can it bring to India's ambitious renewable energy transition Visit
4-8 October Adaptation Futures
(organised by TERI and the World Adaptation Science Programm / WMO)
  • Inaugural with H.E. Mr Ugo Astuto, Delegation of the European Union to India
  • Session: Raising Ambition and Accelerating Adaptation Action with Ms Clara De la Torre, Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General for Climate Action, European Commission
  • EU sessions:
    • India-EU Experience Sharing on Adaptation Planning and Implementation
    • EU Adaptation Strategy
    • Mobilizing Finance for Resilient Infrastructure in Coastal Cities 
  • Youth pledge
  • EU booths on Adaptation future and on the Youth Climate Conclave

To Register click here

 
8 October, 11:00 AM - 02:00PM IST EU Day on Sustainable Urbanisation
Celebrating World Habitat Day 2021 (4 October) - accelerating Urban Action for a Carbon free world
(EU-India Smart and Sustainable Urbanisation Partnership)

To join the webinar: click here
 
11-15 October UNCBD - COP15 (online)

To join the webinar: click here
 
14 October, 02:00 PM - 04:00PM IST Green Hydrogen Economies - A Belgo-Indian Business Conclave
To join the webinar: click here
 
20 - 22 October Visit to Delhi of European Commission Executive Vice-President Mr. Frans Timmermans
  • Link to press release on the opening of the ISA Assembly: click here
  • Link to press release on youth event with TERI: click here
  • Link to the youth event (was also live streamed on Facebook): click here
  • Link to press release summarising the visit: click here
 
26 October, 03:00 PM - 04:00PM IST The Ambassador Series: 'Ambition and Action in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss: The need for multilateralism'
Speaker: H.E. Mr Ugo Astuto, EU Ambassador to India
To register - click here
 
27 October, 16:30 PM - 18:00PM IST India-EU Track 1.5 on Climate Ambition and Action by ORF, CEPS and EU
Live broadcast on - https://youtu.be/xaq9THCqlkU
 
27-28 October Indo-Danish Sustainability Summit 2021 Climate Change & Circular Economy
Wednesday, October 27, 2021 02:00 PM - 04:15 PM (IST)
Liveable Cities & Energy | Thursday, October 28, 2021 | 02:00 - 04:15 PM (IST)
(India-Denmark Green Strategic Partnership)
 
28 October, 02:00 PM - 04:00PM Technical Roundtable on Resilience in Metropolitan Planning
Celebrating World Cities Day 2021 (31 October) Better City, Better Life - adapting cities for climate resilience.
(EU-India Smart and Sustainable Urbanisation Partnership)
 
28 October 15:00 PM -16:30PM IST A virtual panel discussion on Sweden India Sustainable Innovations Enabling Swift Transition of ESGs to SDGs
Registration Link: Click here
Login Link: Click here
 
29 October   6th debate under "Webinar Series on Energy Regulation": Electricity Trade beyond borders- what is the scope for India
Visit
30 October Family-friendly Cycling4Future event, featuring sightseeing and a climate talk, Organised in collaboration with the German Embassy and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Saturday, 30 October 2021 9:00 am – 11:30am
To register and reserve your bike (deadline 28 October) click here
 
30 October End of the Climate Diplomacy Weeks  
31-12 November UNFCCC - COP26, Glasgow

To read more: click here