Aditya Vaibhav | The TrickyScribe: With a view to deepening cooperation between the Nordic countries and India, participant heads of states in Stockholm reaffirmed on Wednesday the importance of free trade as a catalyst for achieving inclusive growth and realizing Sustainable Development Goals.
Global security, smart cities, economic growth, innovation, sustainable development and climate change remained thrust areas of the Indo-Nordic summit jointly hosted by Indian and Swedish prime ministers.
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Keeping in mind Indian Government’s strong commitment to innovation and digital initiatives as key to prosperity and sustainable development, with national flagship programmes such as Clean India, Digital India, Make in India and Startup India, the summit emphasised on Nordic solutions in clean technologies, port modernisation, food processing, health, life-sciences and agriculture.
Sweden India Joint Action Plan aims at initiating a multi-stakeholder innovation partnership for a sustainable future, underpinning mutual commitment to driving prosperity and growth thereby addressing challenges including climate change and sustainable development through innovation.
Emphasizing the importance of strong people-to-people contacts through education, culture, labour mobility and tourism, the participant PMs restated their commitment to implementing ‘2030 Agenda for sustainable development’ and Paris Accord. Developing cleaner energy systems, renewable energy and fuels, increased energy efficiency and technologies for cleaner energy production was also discussed.
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An MOU on cooperation in the field of sustainable and smart urban development was signed between Indian ministry for housing and urban affairs and Danish ministry of industry, business and financial affairs.
Recalled their joint statement issued in Mumbai in 2016, Prime Ministers Modi and Löfven welcomed progress, reconfirmed their commitment to cooperation and described climate change as a key international issue.
The Prime Ministers underscored the urgency to step up global efforts to combat climate change and emphasized their common continued commitment to the Paris Agreement.
Smart Cities and Next Generation Transport
Proper channel for exchanging knowledge and exploring cooperation on smart cities, including transit-oriented urban development, air pollution control, waste management, waste-to-energy, waste-water treatment, district cooling and circular economy, through dialogue and capacity building was discussed. Nordic Sustainable Cities Project aimed at supporting smart cities program in India was also taken into account.
Focus on Renewables
Focusing on technologies utilizing renewable energy, energy efficiency technologies including smart metering, power quality management, distribution automation, electric-vehicle charging infrastructure, renewable integration through research, capacity building, policy cooperation and learning on market design prerequisites were discussed at length.
Research, innovation and business cooperation on new innovative energy technologies through the India-Sweden Innovations’ Accelerator, focusing on technologies to utilize renewable energy and energy efficiency is likely on the cards.