German FM: India has massive climate protection potential


German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Tuesday, praised India’s pursuit of renewable solutions to its growing energy needs on the second day of her two-day trip to the south Asian country.
During a visit to the small village of Khori, south-west of the capital New Delhi, Baerbock said, “India has the potential to skip light years in climate protection” while avoiding fossil fuel use as a way to overcome poverty.
In Khori, Baerbock met with the leaders of the non-governmental organization (NGO) Social Center for Rural Initiative and Advancement (SCRIA), which champions microfinancing, renewable energy, water harvesting, reforestation and the empowerment of women. While there, she was given a tour of a farm and residential houses in the area, all supplied with power by solar systems.
She was also shown solar-powered water pumps used in the irrigation of mustard plants, as well as rainwater collection systems in the village.
Earlier in the day Baerbock underscored Germany’s desire to partner with India to advance the fight against climate change, telling those gathered for an Indo-Pacific Forum at the German Marshall Fund that the climate crisis posed, “the biggest threat this century for everybody in world. No army can protect us from this … so we can only fight this together.”
On December 1, India assumed chairmanship of the G20 group of the world’s biggest economies. Referring to New Delhi’s “One Earth, One Family, One Future” motto for the coming year, Baerbock said, “we can face this future together only if we stand united as a family.”
The world’s fourth-largest producer of carbon dioxide, India depends heavily on coal. Still, the second most-populous country in the world has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2070. To do so, India has increased reliance on renewables.
On the final day of her first official visit to India, which put heavy emphasis on environmental concerns and rules-based international order, Foreign Minister Baerbock also visited the Indian Electoral Commission.