Days after India unveiled its climate action plan targeting a 33-35 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions intensity over a 15-year period, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday pledged to deepen their cooperation in addressing the main issues of clean energy and climate change.
The German Chancellor, who is in India to take part in the third Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) between India and Germany, held discussions on a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including deepening bilateral engagement in defence, security, education, renewable energy, skill development and agriculture with the Indian prime minister.
During a 3-hour-long discussions, Merkel has conveyed Germany's intention to fully support Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious `Make in India' programme and co-operate in areas such as economy, agriculture, internal security, development, defence and financial relations.
Merkel said that the inter-governmental consultations (IGC) between India and Germany will demonstrate that the two countries co-operate very closely and on a broad basis.
''We see Germany as a natural partner in achieving our vision of India's economic transformation. German strengths and India's priorities are aligned. And, so is our mutual goodwill,'' Prime Minister Modi said while addressing a joint press conference today.
''Our focus tends to be on economic ties. But, I believe that in a world of seamless challenges and opportunities, India and Germany can also be strong partners in advancing a more human, peaceful, just and sustainable future for the world. We have a rich history of engagement. We share values, comfort in our relations and a sense of responsibility to the world,'' he added.
India's strengths in information technology and German engineering prowess can combine to create the next generation industry that will be more efficient, economical and environment friendly, Modi stated.
He said German response to India's development agenda is very encouraging and India can look forward with confidence to increased investment, trade and technology partnerships in manufacturing, infrastructure and skill development.
About 1,600 German companies are operating in India, and their number is growing now, which will make the two countries strong partners in creating a global work force in India.
German cooperation and assistance in areas like smart cities, Clean Ganga and waste management have taken a concrete shape. So, has our cooperation in education, from engineering to humanities.
Modi said. ''I admire German leadership in clean energy and commitment to combating climate change. This is an area where we have convergence of views, and rapidly growing cooperation. We have agreed on India Germany Climate and Renewable Energy Alliance with a long term vision and a comprehensive agenda of combating climate change. I place great value on Germany's assistance of over one billion Euros for India's Green Energy Corridor and a new assistance package of over a billion Euros for solar projects in India. We also intend to deepen research cooperation in clean and renewable energy, and energy efficiency. To contain temperature rise we must also change our temperament.''
He said the two countries also look forward to a concrete outcome at COP21 in Paris ''that strengthens the commitment and the ability of the world, especially of poor and vulnerable countries, to transition to a more sustainable growth path.''
Besides, India expects to increase cooperation in areas like defence manufacturing, trade in advanced technology, intelligence, and countering terrorism and radicalism.
Germany is supporting India's membership of the international export control regimes, even as the two countries are committed to pursuing reforms of the United Nations, especially the Security Council.
It is likely that the two countries may ink a deal on cleaning and rejuvenation of River Ganga that has been discussed earlier this year with ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi today. The two will continue their dialogue in Bengaluru tomorrow.