France to invest two billion euros of climate-linked finance in India

Leaders make joint pledge to ensure Paris climate summit later this year is a success, as countries deepen clean energy ties

By Ed King

France will invest two billion euros in clean energy and efficiency projects in India, president Francois Hollande announced last week.

Speaking at a press conference with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, Hollande said French support was vital ahead of a proposed UN climate change pact, due to be finalised in Paris this December.

“We have discussed these issues ahead of the upcoming conference and once again we are perfectly in step when it comes to desire and analysis,” Holland said.

“We need India for the conference to be successful. We need its commitment.

“It is very important to reach a fruitful agreement and in order to have a good solid agreement we need contributions from all countries to combat climate change.”

A list of agreements released at the same time as the press conference detailed planned cooperation on three smart cities, renewable energy and nuclear energy.

The countries plan to share technology and expertise in the wind, solar, wave, tidal and bio-energy sectors.

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Nearly 200 countries will arrive in Paris at the end of November for two weeks of intensive UN-backed climate talks, which the French government will host.

In a joint statement the two premiers emphasised the “vital importance” of tackling climate change, Modi extending his “full support” to Hollande.

Developed and developing countries have been asked to reveal how they will cut emissions ahead of the meeting. So far only 34 countries including the US, EU, Mexico and Russia have done so.

India is the world’s fourth largest source of greenhouse gases behind China, the US and the European Union, and has declined to reveal what level of contribution to a UN deal it would accept.

Its emissions are projected to soar by 2030 as millions gain access to electricity and the country maintains its high levels of economic growth.

In a speech at UNESCO headquarters last week Modi repeated his warning that he would not tolerate carbon cuts being imposed on India, which he said had a right to develop.

But he said that with 175 gigawatts of clean energy already planned by the early 2020s, the Delhi government was committed to moving away from fossil fuels if there was “global action.”

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