Green Transition Partnership: India-Sweden further climate and sustainability pledge for a carbon-neutral tomorrow
The Embassy of Sweden, the Consulate General of Sweden and Business Sweden – Team Sweden have played a decisive role over the years in building a sustainable and carbon-neutral future with India. Green goals, sustainable business practices and climate-friendly initiatives gained further momentum when India’s long-term trading partner Sweden launched the India-Sweden Green Transition Partnership (ISGTP) as part of the Indian Sweden Sustainability and Green Transition Day event on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 in Mumbai. The launch symbolizes the two countries’ joint commitment to promote the exchange of carbon-neutral business practices and solutions, co-create localized innovations and share expertise and knowledge related to the green transition.
Swedish companies have a significant footprint in India with the operational presence of approximately 250 companies that generate over a million jobs directly and indirectly. Several dedicated MoUs spanning energy, environment, urban development, among other areas of mutual interest, have been signed between India and Sweden.
Over the years, Business Sweden together with the Embassy of Sweden, the Consulate General of Sweden and the Swedish Energy Agency have established the Sustainability by Sweden ecosystem in India. The ecosystem acts as the overarching umbrella for Sweden’s commitment to drive green transition across sectors, which has created a hotbed of opportunity that is changing entire industries, value chains and production methods. The ecosystem is also supported by leading agencies in both countries, including Vinnova and the Stockholm Environment Institute, along with the Confederation of Indian Industries.
An exchange of green technology and expertise forms the basis of this platform while promoting innovation and co-creation and strengthening trade and economic cooperation between Indian and Swedish stakeholders. Within the framework of the partnership, six leading Swedish green thought-leaders companies – Absortech, Alfa Laval, Alleima, Hitachi Energy, KraftPowercon and SKF will work together with India’s leading companies to increase the pace of the green transition across challenging industry sectors including cement, steel and automotive.
The event, which was attended by Swedish and Indian industry and government delegates, witnessed a host of interesting interactions via panel discussions and special addresses. Cecilia Oskarsson, Trade Commissioner for Sweden to India set the theme for the event, followed by a welcome speech by Anna Lekvall, Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai.
Jan Thesleff, Sweden’s ambassador to India, said at the launch, that this platform is an excellent example of how leading Swedish companies in India join forces with their Indian counterparts in difficult industries to jointly build a strong, green, and clean future.
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Romina Pourmokhtari, Sweden’s climate and environment minister, practically highlighted Sweden’s role as a sustainability and green transition catalyst. Sustainability, green transition and innovation are important focus areas in the ongoing trade relations and economic relations between India and Sweden. As joint leaders of the Leadership Group of Industry Transition, both countries have committed to drive heavy industries towards carbon neutrality.
Devendra Fadnavis, Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra, reiterated India’s commitment to engage all stakeholders in achieving its Net Zero goals, in his keynote address and spoke at length about the country’s green priorities. “I am happy to learn about Sweden’s commitment to collaborating with India in its green transformation journey. Swedish companies have been at the forefront of industrial growth and investment in Maharashtra. This new Green Partnership Engine is a further pledge to our shared responsibility and work to create a climate neutral future for both nations. I also congratulate the partner agencies of the India Sweden Innovations Accelerator Program for their decade-long journey of promoting green collaborations between Indian and Swedish companies.” he said.
Other prominent speakers at the event were Dr. Harshadeep Kamble, IAS – Secretary (Small & Medium Industries) & Development Commissioner (Industry), Government of Maharashtra, Pravin Darade, Principal Secretary Environment, Government of Maharashtra, and Dr. Praveer Sinha, CEO & MD, Tata Power Company Ltd and Deeksha Vats, Chief Sustainability Officer, Aditya Birla Group.
The ISGTP will leverage Sweden’s global cooperation theme “Pioneer the Possible”, which promotes co-creation of innovative sustainable solutions with India and will also be in sync with activities planned under the LeadIT initiative. Another highlight of the partnership is the gathering of industry leaders and experts from India and Sweden for three technical workshops, two of which focusing on cement and iron and steel will be held in Mumbai on November 24, 2022. The third workshop on the automotive sector will be held in Pune in December 2022.
The day was also marked with the 10-year celebration of another joint initiative between both countries – the India-Sweden Innovations Accelerator (ISIA) programme. The Swedish Energy Agency, Business Sweden and CII-Godrej GBC are joint partners in this program which focuses on promoting green energy and energy efficiency cooperation between the two countries. Over the past decade, the program has facilitated 60 Swedish SMEs to enter India, which in turn has established 200 projects and positively influenced eight sustainability goals for the country. To showcase innovative Swedish cleantech companies in an Indian smart city context, a dedicated showroom has been set up at Business Sweden’s office in New Delhi.