COP 26: Accelerated Transition to Clean Energy a Top Priority of Odisha Govt to Mitigate Climate Change Challenges

Bhubaneswar: The British Deputy High Commission, Kolkata and the Government of Odisha collaborated to organise United Kingdom-Odisha Dialogue on COP 26 and Clean Energy and Clean Transport Transition with support from Confederation of Indian Industry on Thursday.

There are five key themes for COP 26 Climate Summit: Clean Energy, Clean Transport, Adaptation and Resilience, Nature-Based Solutions and Green Finance. The virtual webinar focused on two of the key themes: Clean Energy and Clean Transport. This high-level conference provided an opportunity to have focused discussions on strategic and innovative interventions to accelerate transition to zero emission vehicles and the adoption of cleaner energy as Odisha progresses its portfolio of sustainable development policies and pathways.

As part of the COP 26 ZEVs campaign, the UK is bringing together governments from the largest and most progressive automotive markets globally through the ZEVs Transition Council, which will coordinate efforts, enabling the transition to be quicker, cheaper, and easier for all of society. The UK is also engaging with businesses and other stakeholders to help overcome shared barriers. The experts at the event urged businesses to commit to the uptake of electric vehicles into corporate fleet and join the EV100 initiative.

The programme also focused on discussions on innovative policies and technologies that can be adopted by the State and City Governments who can sign up to Route Zero Initiative and enhance ambition on electric mobility.

British Deputy High Commissioner to Kolkata, Nick Low said: “As we’ve seen from its disaster response to Cyclone Amphan and Yaas, Odisha’s achievement in climate change adaptation has been immense. I was delighted speaking to the decision-makers and influencers who are in the front line of mitigating climate change in Odisha. There is so much that we can and should do at the local and regional level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through adopting clean, green energy and transport solutions. It’s a journey that my own country has made, reducing the proportion of electricity produced by burning coal from 40% in 2014 to 2% today.”

Secretary, Science & Technology, Manoj Mishra, IRS, Government of Odisha said: “Accelerated transition to clean energy and clean transport is a top priority for the Odisha government to mitigate impacts of climate change and to adopt a sustainable roadmap towards green recovery. We are indeed pleased to partner with the UK Government to exchange knowledge and best practices to drive up climate ambition.”

Development Commissioner-cum-ACS, Pradeep Kumar Jena, IAS, Govt. Of Odisha said: “It is excellent to see that we have come together today, exactly three months before COP 26 to deliberate on ways to deal with climate crisis and discuss key strategies to up our game on climate action.”

The world needs greater ambition from companies and investors. The programme encouraged them to join the Race to Zero. This requires businesses to take robust short-term action to halve global emissions by 2030, and to achieve net zero emissions as soon as possible, and by 2050 at the very latest.

Eminent speakers from the public and private sector joined from the United Kingdom and other parts of India and Odisha to share their experience, technical knowhow and lessons learnt.

The event highlighted specific commitments from businesses in line with the COP26 campaigns (clean transport, nature solutions, adaptation and resilience, energy transition and finance). Businesses can support these initiatives as a means of achieving their net zero and short term commitments, or as a first step towards ambitious climate action.

The UK-India economic relationship is strong with trade of over £18bn in 2020, supporting nearly half a million jobs. The UK and India are committed to deepening their economic relationship. On 04 May 2021, during the virtual meeting of PM Johnson and PM Modi, both the UK and India launched an Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) and confirmed their intent to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) with a view to doubling UK-India trade over the next decade.

The event highlighted that the UK is ready to trade with Government of Odisha and support them in their clean energy transition journey in every possible way.

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