India and Saudi Arabia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Riyadh today afternoon, in the fields of Electrical Interconnections, Green / Clean Hydrogen and Supply Chains. The MoU was signed between the visiting Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India, Shri R.K. Singh and the Minister of Energy, Government of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud on the sidelines of the MENA Climate Week in Riyadh today.
This MoU aims to establish a general framework for cooperation between the two countries in the field of electrical interconnection; exchange of electricity during peak times and emergencies; co-development of projects; co-production of green / clean hydrogen and renewable energy; and also establishing secure, reliable and resilient supply chains of materials used in green / clean hydrogen and the renewable energy sector.
It was also decided between the two energy ministers that B2B Business Summits and regular B2B interactions between the two countries will be conducted to establish complete supply and value chains in the above-mentioned areas of energy sector cooperation.
Earlier, an Indian delegation led by the Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India, Shri R.K. Singh participated in the High-Level Segment of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Climate Week 2023, which is being held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during October 8 – 12, 2023. MENA Climate Week 2023 will discuss climate solutions ahead of COP28 and is being hosted by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.This important event brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss many topics, including the Global Stocktake, and the economic and energy security aspects of climate action in the context of the Paris Agreement. It provides a valuable opportunity to share insights and best practices, and to develop ambitious climate strategies for the rest of this critical decade.
Addressing a session on “Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement (GST) Regional Dialogue: Highlighting enablers and technologies for ambition and just and inclusive transitions” on the first day of the MENA Climate Week in Riyadh today, the Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy said that MENA Climate Week is extremely important in exploring and sharing opportunities to shape the future of energy production, consumption and sustainability on a global scale. He said that the gathering at MENA CW holds great significance for the MENA region and collectively possesses immense potential in influencing the current and future narrative of energy transition.
The Minister told the global community that India today is one of the world’s most vital voices in the energy landscape, and has emerged as a leader in energy transition. “India having almost 17% of the world population and being the world’s fifth largest economy, is taking significant steps to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 45% by the year 2030 and to achieve the goal of Net Zero by the year 2070.” He recalled that India’s energy sector has undergone a remarkable transformation, aimed at providing reliable, affordable and sustainable energy to its people. “The country has made significant strides in enhancing power generation capacity from non-fossil fuels, established a unified national grid and has strengthened distribution network, promoting renewable energy, expanding access to energy and achieving 100% household electrification, and implementing innovative policies.”
Shri Singh said that green hydrogen is a promising alternative for accelerating India’s energy transition. “It brings me great pleasure in informing you that the Government of India has launched the National Green Hydrogen Mission for harnessing hydrogen energy and has approved an initial outlay of US $ 2.3 billion for this Mission.”
The Minister called upon MENA countries to join the Global Biofuel Alliance, in order to advance international cooperation in sustainable biofuels to realize the full potential of the Alliance. He said that the Alliance aims to facilitate cooperation in intensifying the development and deployment of sustainable biofuels, to facilitate trade in biofuels and much more, in collaboration with international biofuels organizations.
The Minister underlined that India firmly believes that all nations must recognize that the energy transition will have different challenges and opportunities for developing countries and the global south in particular. “Therefore, it is imperative that we work together to support each other in this transition.” Shri Singh asserted at the MENA Climate Week that individual actions and sustainable behavioural choices are crucial to achieve the energy transition in a sustainable manner. “In this regard, I call upon MENA region to join India’s initiative on Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE)”, said the Minister.
The opening ceremony of MENA Climate Week can be watched here.
Global Stocktake of Paris Agreement
The high-level GST (Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement) regional dialogue at the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) Climate Week will bring together policy makers, key stakeholders and partners in the intergovernmental process to discuss key messages from the region with a view to shaping the GST outcome. The dialogue will further serve as a platform to discuss the challenges, barriers, solutions and opportunities for enhancing climate action and support within the context of MENA and for enhancing international cooperation.
The GST allows countries to periodically take stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and its long-term goals. It is done in a comprehensive and facilitative manner, considering mitigation, adaptation and the means of implementation and support, and in the light of equity and the best available science. The first GST started in Glasgow in 2021 and will conclude at the climate change conference in Dubai, UAE (at COP 28). The outcome of the GST shall inform Parties in updating and enhancing, in a nationally determined manner, their action and support, as well as in enhancing international cooperation for climate action.
The conclusion of the first global stocktake is an important political moment to highlight collective progress made globally towards the achievement of the Paris Agreement provisions and goals. It is an important moment to underscore challenges, but also the plenitude of opportunities to accelerate climate action including various regional priorities. It will also be critical to signal a positive message of unity and cooperation to the world, to enable ownership of the outcome and subsequent buy-in for effective implementation.
PIB DELHI | Alok Mishra / Dheep Joy Mampilly