Ukraine war shifted focus from poverty, climate change: German envoy

‘Berlin looking for green, sustainable development partnership with India’

Updated - April 22, 2022 09:57 pm IST

Published - April 22, 2022 09:07 pm IST - NEW DELHIH

German Ambassador to India Walter J. Lindner. File

German Ambassador to India Walter J. Lindner. File | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

One of the repercussions of (Russian President) “Putin’s war” apart from the misery and death is that the international focus is sort of going away from huge challenges for mankind which are climate change, poverty reduction, infrastructure and moving towards military spending and towards concentrating on war and peace, said German envoy in India Walter J. Lindner on Friday.

Visiting German State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Jochen Flasbarth said Germany is looking for a broader green and sustainable development partnership with India and an agreement is in the works. The agreement covers a broader range of subjects related to sustainable development goals, he told the media.

Outlining the German plan to phase out fossil fuels and become carbon neutral, Mr. Flasbarth said the Russian war has brought a different world and they didn’t expect this situation.

“Germany is phasing out nuclear power by 2030 when the last facility will be shut down. We are phasing out coal earlier than we intended to do so. Under the previous government, the final closing year for coal facility was expected to be 2038. Now in the new coalition, we agreed to have it in 2030.”

Germany has set a carbon neutrality target by 2045 and Mr. Flasbarth said in the interim they need gas. He said they woke up now to a situation where one of the partners, Russia, which provided the gas decided to “violate what we see as a key fundamental of countries living together”. “We are looking for new partners now... We are in a geopolitically not an easy situation.”

India and Germany are also working on emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), officials said. German institutions are working closely with NITI Aayog and some agreement is expected soon, it is learnt. There is also a “Statement of Intent”’ with NITI Aayog coming covering development cooperation and ethical AI among others.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Germany next month during which climate change and renewable energy cooperation are expected to figure prominently.

Last November, Mr. Modi had announced that India would become carbon neutral by 2070.

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