World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2021

The EU has partnered with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) at the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2021 from 10-12 February 2021. At the Summit several issues were discussed that are at the core of EU-India Cooperation, including under the 2016 EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership, Water Partnership, Smart and Sustainable Urban Development Partnership and the Resource Efficiency Initiative. The summit aimed to facilitate the exchange of views on policy and regulatory approaches, governance, best practices, business solutions, market access and research and innovation related to addressing climate change and achieving SDGs. Given the current global health crisis and its close interlinkage with green recovery, the WSDS 2021 was held under the umbrella theme of ‘Redefining Our Common Future: Safe and Secure Environment for All’. The EU participation included:

We had the honour to welcome Mr. Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the European Green Deal who addressed the valedictory session on Friday 12 February, titled “Collaboration for Green Growth”.

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High-level speakers from the European Commission and EU Member States spoke in the plenary session titled ‘Examining Interlinkages to Climate Action, Biodiversity Protection and Circular Economy’. The plenary session include addresses by Mr. Christophe Manet, Chargé d'Affaires a.i., Delegation of the European Union to India and Ms. Astrid Schomaker, Director, Global Sustainable Development, European Commission.

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In addition EU representatives participated in the following thematic tracks as part of the WSDS:

1.    Private Sector’s Role in Achieving Climate Change Resilience (Leading examples from Coastal Cities): This session provided a platform for the private sector enterprises to showcase their ongoing initiatives related to climate change adaptation and building resilience in urban areas. Also, the session discussed the potential for private and public sector collaboration to achieve urban climate change resilience. This session included the following speakers from EU businesses: Mr. Lennart Silvis, Global Director Water for Industry at Royal HaskoningDHV and Mr. Frédéric Woringer, Director of Climate and Infrastructures Department, AETS Consultants. To share key takeaways from the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021: Focus on Urban Resilience” Ms. Sanne van der Mijl, Project Leader, Climate Adaptation Summit, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, The Netherlands will also address the session.

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2.    Low Carbon Industry Transition (EU-India experience sharing): This session discussed the role of Industry transition in low carbon pathways, including through the Leadership Group for Industry Transition (https://www.industrytransition.org/). The session focused particularly on the steel and cement sectors. The session focused also on the support required to decarbonize these harder-to-abate sectors to meet the targets set under the Paris Agreement and to ensure that India continues its growth path. This session included addresses from Mr Jacob Werksman, Principal Adviser to Directorate General for Climate Action, European Commission, Professor Måns Nilsson, Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute and a presentation from Mr Tobias Winter, Director, Indo-German Energy Forum, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Gökçe Mete, PhD, Stockholm Environment Institute, will participate as a panelist. 

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3.    Youth Unite for a Safe and Secure Environment for all: This thematic track held jointly by the EU, Italian Embassy, GIZ, TERI and CEEW witnessed participation of youth in the 11 to 25 years age group. The event comprised of a high-level inaugural session followed by key inputs by climate change experts. It included the announcement of the results of online competitions of photography, blogging and short video competitions organized as part of the Youth Climate Conclave organized under the Strategic Partnership for the Implementation of Paris Agreement (SPIPA) project in partnership with Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). This session included special addresses by Mr. Christophe Manet, Chargé d'Affaires a.i., Delegation of the European Union to India and by HE Mr Vincenzo de Luca, Ambassador of Italy to India.

Proceedings and video recording of the session is available at: https://www.cecp-eu.in/events/post/youth-climate-conclave-2nd-edition-announcement-of-winners  

4.    Planning Cities for a Sustainable Future: “EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025” between the European Union (EU) and the Government of India encompasses ambitious objectives to support smart and sustainable cities, and promote investments in sustainable urbanization, climate action and disaster risk reduction. This also aligns with the Smart Cities Mission and the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework by the Indian government. This session included an address by Mr. Michel Mouchiroud, Partner Instrument Coordinator, EU Foreign Policy Instruments, Regional Team Asia & Pacific, Delegation of the European Union to Thailand and joint address by Dr. Michael Bucki, Head of Section, Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to India and The World Bank. The panel discussion in the track was moderated by Ms. Kamilla Kristensen Rai, Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to India. Ms. Rupali Deshmukh, Senior Coordinator, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute was a panellist. 

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5.    Accelerating and Institutionalizing Resource Efficiency & Circular Economy in India: This session aims to create a dialogue on the need for RE approaches in India among key stakeholders from government and non-governmental organizations, businesses, private and public sectors. This session will include a special address by Ms. Astrid Schomaker, Director, Global Sustainable Development, Directorate General for Environment, European Commission on the topic ‘EU-India Cooperation on Resource Efficiency (RE) & Circular Economy (CE)’. The panel discussion as part of the thematic track will be moderated by Mr. Michael Bucki, Counsellor Delegation of the European Union. Panelists include a representative from IKEA and Dr. Janez Potocnik, Co-Chair of UN International Resources Panel, Former European Commissioner for Environment.

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In addition to the above mentioned thematic tracks, Dr Anna Sobczak, Policy Coordinator for coal regions in transition in the framework of EU Green Deal crossroads from EU shared EU perspectives during the thematic track titled ‘Just Transition: A way forward from the energy’. 

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World Sustainable Development Summit 2021 Agenda

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