Indian Minister of External Affairs, S. Jaishankar, concluded his first visit to Denmark this past weekend. During his visit, the minister met with his Danish counterpart, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, and co-chaired the fourth meeting of the joint commission signed in February 2009. The number of working groups under the joint commission was also expanded to 11 with the inclusion of health. Other groups cover sectors like renewable energy, environment, agriculture and animal husbandry, food processing, labour mobility, sustainable and smart urban development, science and technology, shipping, and digitisation. 

In his statement to the media, Minister Jaishankar emphasised the unique relationship India shares with Denmark which is the only country with which India has a Green Strategic Partnership. India and Denmark elevated their bilateral relationship to a Green Strategic Partnership in September 2020 in a joint acknowledgement of climate change and the mutual opportunities in mitigating it. The Green Strategic Partnership is envisaged as an “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.” 

The deepening relationship with Denmark coincides with India’s growing focus on clean growth and sustainable development. India, with its unique geography, latitudinal size, and long coastline, is especially vulnerable to climate change. As a developing country with a teeming population of 1.3 billion people, India is also, after China and the United States, the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) even though our per capita emissions are well below the global average. To continue to serve the needs of its people while reducing its carbon space, India is prioritising a decarbonised growth. The Green Strategic Partnership with Denmark, that has an extensive governance and corporate experience in clean growth, is instrumental to India’s journey.

The Green Strategic Partnership is widespread in scope and covers many sectors including energy, environment and water, sustainable urban development, shipping and transport, science and technology, food and agriculture, and health, while also focusing on enhancing people-to-people contact. The two countries will develop climate-friendly technologies to ensure water efficiency, reduce emissions in transport, enable infrastructure development and promote digitisation and design digital solutions.

The partnership creates a mechanism for enhancing Danish investments in India and for easing closer cooperation in and adoption of Danish solutions in green technology. The Green Strategic Partnership is a contemporary agreement to address contemporary concerns. It is a model for bilateral relationships across the world that must account for addressing the pressing challenge of a warming climate and the risks it poses to economic development, food security, mobility, and urban safety among many others. 

The EAM also highlighted that there are over 200 Danish companies in India today. These include major Indian partners like Grundfos, Vestas, Maersk, Haldor Topsoe who, with their extensive experience in key sectors, can drive India’s green growth. 

India and Denmark celebrate 75 years of bilateral relationship this year. Their mutual concerns and goals assure another 75 years of a close and successful friendship.

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