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Bangalore, Karnataka, India

European diplomatic missions in Bangalore – representing the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, and France – along with Fraunhofer, are organising ‘The European Climate Action Day : Challenges and Innovative Solutions’, scheduled on Wednesday, 21st September in Bangalore.

The event will bring together sectoral technology experts, researchers and decision-makers, who will discuss innovative solutions to limit climate change impact with main focus on Karnataka. The event will include two very topical panel discussions on ‘Energy and Water: Critical Factors in Climate Change’ and ‘ Innovative Solutions to Mitigate Climate Change’. The panellists are renowned industry experts, who have been invited to shed light on the global and local scenario in the core area of “Climate Control” and suggest measures for the road ahead for international cooperation. The experts will also highlight specific technology solutions, as well as existing projects and activities for mitigating such challenges.

The event is inaugurated by the Guest of Honour, Shri. Dinesh Gundu Rao, President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) and Chairman of Climate Parliament Steering Committee, Karnataka Chapter, with keynote address & special address by Prof. P S Goel, Dr Raja Ramanna Chair Professor at NIAS and formerly, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences and Dr. Prodipto Ghosh,  Distinguished Fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute.

This event is a follow-up of the discussions that were held at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21: held in Paris, from 30th November 2015 to 12th December 2015), which negotiated the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which aims at capping the rise of temperatures below 2°C by the end of this century, and, if possible, below 1.5°C.

Europe is engaged in a low-carbon transition. European Member-States, taking concrete implementation very seriously, are moving forward with ambitious domestic climate policies, incorporating new proposals to help meet the emissions reduction target of at least 40% by 2030 and further drive the transition to a low-carbon economy. European Member-States are also committed to providing assistance to developing countries in areas such as finance, technology and capacity building.

India has set itself ambitious targets that will have a significant impact on tackling climate change, such as 100GW of solar energy before 2022. India has also declared that 40% of its electricity mix will be sourced from non-fossil fuels by 2030. India has also announced the launch of the International Solar Alliance, which aims at facilitating the deployment of solar energy worldwide. European Member-States are committed to contributing to all these ambitious targets and initiatives taken by India.

Citizens and NGOs are not the only ones to truly care about a responsible environmental policy; entrepreneurs care, too.

Ahead of this event, there was a call for poster abstracts on ‘Innovative Solutions to Climate Change’, from Masters, Ph.D., and first postdoc-level researchers from Karnataka. The top three winners of the competition will be awarded and their posters displayed on 21st September at the event.

Dr. Balz Strasser, Consul General of Switzerland, said, “Climate change is an issue that affects and concerns us all. It’s a global phenomenon that needs to be tackled by every country as well as by international cooperation. Good practices, effective technologies and successful approaches from Europe need to be shared with India and other parts of the world. In Switzerland, for example, new buildings are consuming four times less energy than 40 years ago. The expertise and knowhow that was developed in this field can help India to achieve its goals related to improving energy efficiency of its building stock and ensuring energy security for all.”

Commenting on the main focus of the event, Ms. Margit Hellwig-Bötte, Consul General in Bangalore said, “Climate change is high on Germany’s agenda. Changing weather patterns and unexpected floods threaten Germany like any other country in the world. Climate change is a global phenomenon and thus needs to be addressed by all of us in a joined effort. For Germany the three key elements to mitigate the effects of climate change are: First minimising Green House Gases. Second promoting the use of sustainable resources. And last but not least increasing energy efficiency.

We are looking forward to partner with India’s highly skilled R&D experts to work together for a better future and to find innovative and comprehensive solutions to deal with the consequences of climate change”

Mr. Dominic McAllister, Deputy High Commissioner, British Deputy High Commission said, “The UK remains committed to tackling climate change at home and to supporting developing nations realize their climate change targets. The British High Commission works closely with European missions and other partners across India and Karnataka with this aim. Globally the low carbon sector is growing strongly. The UK’s low carbon economy has been valued at £122 billion and employs 269,800 people directly, and a further 190,800 indirectly within the low carbon supply chain. Over the next 5 years the UK has committed £5.8 billion in climate finance support to climate change vulnerable nations. In India some of the areas we are working on include energy access, energy storage, renewables & smart grids, climate finance and climate smart urban development. This year’s European Climate Action Day in Bengaluru will help identify the challenges we face, local innovative solutions, and ways we can work together to tackle climate change.”

Mr. François Gautier, Consul General of France said, “Climate change is an issue that affects every living being on our planet. It is a collective responsibility of all to work together to bring about good practices that will impact future generations. France is already one of the lowest greenhouse gas emitters among developed nations and we plan to further bring down such emissions by 60% by 2040. One decisive and historical step towards this objective was the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement by 195 countries last December following COP21. In India, and especially here in Bangalore, we work in close partnership to advance together further in this direction: collaborations such as the Indo-French Water Network, the International Solar Alliance, the partnering of Indian and French companies over water use and management, and French funding of the Namma Metro are clear indications of our commitment in this area. ”

Ms. Anandi Iyer, Director, Fraunhofer Office India, “The international diffusion of climate technologies is key to addressing climate change at a global level. While Climate technologies are currently, for the most part, being developed in many countries, the scale and speed of diffusion are insufficient, considering that in the case of a global public “bad” such as climate change, all countries would benefit from reduced emissions from the wide diffusion of climate technologies and knowledge. Therefore, accelerating international technology transfer is seen as a requirement to provide newly industrializing countries (NIC) and developing countries (DC) with the best technological options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also to adapt to climatic changes. Based on article 4.5 of the UNFCCC, the debate on international climate negotiations increasingly turns on financial schemes to facilitate technology transfer. However, the international transfer of climate technologies depends on various influences and is not only a question of the availability of funds.”

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