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UK and India business leaders meet in Delhi to discuss low carbon growth and charter to boost green jobs and economy

29 July 2010
UK and India business leaders meet in Delhi to discuss low carbon growth and charter to boost green jobs and economy

NEW DELHI, Thursday 29 July 2010: A delegation of senior business leaders from the UK met Indian counterparts under the aegis of the UK India Business Leaders Climate Group during this week’s official UK government visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron. The Group, launched in February 2010 in London, discussed opportunities to create low carbon economic growth and related jobs. A draft report was discussed at the meeting as a basis for launching a charter of principles and recommended actions for strengthening collaboration, which will be presented to the UK and Indian governments in September.

The UK and Indian business leaders met to consider the key issues to unlocking bilateral low carbon growth, including collaboration on areas such as R&D, investment, financing tools, trade, technology transfer and policy design. The Climate Group, an international NGO and secretariat to the Business Leaders Climate Group, commissioned ICF International to carry out a consultation with the business leaders and their companies as the basis of the draft report and charter. The business leaders will present the final charter to UK and Indian governments later this year when they meet in London on 15 November.

The New Delhi meeting included participation from, among others, FICCI, HSBC, M&S, Johnson Matthey, Modi Enterprises, News Corporation, Rolls Royce, IL&FS, Bharti Enterprises, Steria Group, Great Eastern Energy Corporation and Suzlon – who believe that there are significant business opportunities in clean energy, energy efficiency, low carbon technology, water, waste management and related services that could boost UK-India investment and trade in both directions and create new jobs. In addition, greater bilateral collaboration will also support energy diversification and energy security in both countries, and also reduce costs of commitments to achieve significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

Sir Stuart Rose UK chair of the new group and Chairman of Marks & Spencer says: "We've worked very hard over the last few months to put together a draft report. I hope that we'll have some good robust discussions to make sure that we end up with the right final report because, I believe, it's absolutely vital that India and the UK work together to create a sustainable low carbon economy."

Dr Amit Mitra, India Chair of the Group and Secretary-General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, says: “This initiative will catalyse on the market experiences of both countries and develop new models and mechanisms for climate mitigation through a market driven process and will bring technology and finance as central drivers in this initiative.”

Greg Barker MP, UK Energy and Climate Change Minister, who attended the activities of the Business Leaders Group and addressed the working session in Delhi today says: “Business has for too long been a dirty word in the world of climate change talks, when in reality, they will be key to unlocking the investment we need for a genuinely sustainable global economy. The potential of the “green economy” is huge. The UK-India Business Leaders Climate Group will be at the forefront of realizing these opportunities for both countries, and that’s why it’s important these business leaders are getting down to discussing practical ideas before they present their report in September.”

The new acting India Chair of the Business Leaders Group, Mr Rajan Bharti Mittal, President of FICCI and Vice Chairman of Bharti Enterprises said: “This initiative between India and the UK will become an important template for other countries to emulate”.

Genevieve Anderson, Executive Director of the UK-India Business Leaders Climate Group said: “This influential group of business leaders have put significant time and thought to the challenge of producing actionable recommendations and promoting a drive toward low carbon growth in both countries. Today’s was a very productive meeting which brought them steps closer to a successful launch of their report.”

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