Others should look to follow India-Denmark Green Strategic Partnership, says Danish climate minister
India and Denmark recently signed a Green Strategic Partnership, the first such agreement for either country. Dan Jorgensen, the Danish Minister for Climate and Energy, in an interview with Hindustan Times, explained its significance. Edited excerpts:
What is the importance of the Green Strategic Partnership? Is this unique in the world?
The Green Strategic Partnership is extremely important to both of us and the world. India and Denmark are in a very fortunate situation in that we can really help each over and learn from each other, Denmark is a front runner in renewable energy, especially in offshore wind where we are in the process of using this technology to create “energy islands”. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted about the partnership, “Denmark has the skills, India has the scale.” India has ambitious plans for renewable energy and I am very impressed by these plans. Denmark has skills which could be used to help India achieve those goals.
I hesitate to say the partnership is a first, as I am not certain if other countries do not have similar arrangements. But it is the first time Denmark has concluded such a partnership of this sort. We definitely hope other countries look at this strategic partnership as something that they would like to follow. We, as part of a global community, look to the United Nations in climate issues but we must also create bilateral alliances in this field.
Denmark and India are very different in size and climate. Why should they have looked to each other to form a partnership?
First of all, there is considerable friendship, trust and good cooperation between our two countries. Our authorities are used to working together. We have a record of efficient transfer of knowledge. The scale of the energy transformation that India is undergoing will be a benefit for not only India but also the whole world. India is a key player in fighting climate change. More to the point, if we are to have a chance to fulfil the Paris agreement, India is a key player given its size. Other countries are looking to India to take a leadership role in climate. All of us are impressed by the level of ambition India has shown in green energy.
Denmark has many areas of renewable expertise. I believe we can help a lot in wind. We have the greatest experience in offshore wind, with the first offshore wind park set up in Denmark in 1991. There has been remarkable technological advance in this area. In many places, offshore wind competes with coal. Next level of technology is the energy island where many wind parks are connected to an island which serves as an energy hub. We have two islands already, one gigawatt and three gigawatts. We are increasing the second to 10 gigawatts. The technology exists to scale this up and use this power to create hydrogen which can then be used as a liquid fuel for heavy transport including trucks, ships and airplanes. This would solve key problems in renewable energy: one, how do you store energy and, two, how do you put renewable energy into your transport system.
Where will green cooperation go in the future?
Indian government officials and experts are looking at our plans for offshore wind with interest. But our plans for the future are to take wind energy into a whole new area. We do not see this as a sector in which we are in competition with other countries, this is something where we have to work with other countries with the ultimate aim of global energy transformation.
At the global level, first and foremost, we must fulfil the Paris accord. At present, we are not on track globally. But I am an optimist, thanks to the developments among the world’s major emitters, including India, China and the United States. I am especially pleased that the US has pledged to re-enter the Paris accord.
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