Climate, tech investments in spotlight ahead of UK-India Week 2023
Climate and technology investments were at the heart of the UK’s agenda for an India-led G20 meet this week as UK International Development Minister Andrew Mitchell held high-level discussions in India, including with External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar (pictured above). The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) pointed to investments having a multiplier effect in tackling the biggest shared challenges of the day – including climate change, poverty and food insecurity.
The G20 Development Ministerial meeting in Varanasi, under India’s presidency, laid the groundwork to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ahead of the G20 Leader’s Summit in New Delhi this September.
Mitchell said: “We commend India for putting development and the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable at the heart of its G20 Presidency. The UK is committed to working with G20 partners to tackle the climate crisis and reduce poverty.
“The UK’s new investments in India will deepen our collaboration, underlining the UK’s focus on mutually beneficial partnerships. Make no mistake: these investments benefit the British taxpayer while delivering world-changing solutions. I am proud that the UK is supporting such visionary and innovative endeavours that are needed to achieve development progress across the globe.”
New UK programmes announced in India include an investment of £10 million in Avaana Fund, a women-led climate-tech fund which supports innovative businesses to develop solutions to climate change and create jobs for women in sectors such as clean energy, energy storage and agriculture. An investment of £12 million from the UK government-supported Neev II fund will go to Nutrifresh, an Agri-Tech start-up enterprise focused on making agriculture more sustainable by growing vegetables in an environmentally friendly way.
Christina Scott, Acting British High Commissioner to India, said: “The investments highlight the UK’s commitment to delivering the 2030 Roadmap – a partnership that delivers for both our countries.
“As set out in the UK’s International Development Strategy, we are focused on delivering clean and green infrastructure and creating opportunities for women and girls.”
During his visit, Mitchell visited the Chakr Innovation research lab in Delhi, which is developing cutting-edge tech to tackle climate challenges. The UK-supported lab is now developing innovative batteries for e-vehicles which do not need charging infrastructure and are fully recyclable, providing a cleaner and safer alternative to older lithium tech. The lab has previously developed devices that capture pollution-causing emissions and convert it to pigment for black inks and paints.
“Targeted investments like these play a central role in tackling climate change and supporting sustainable development. They improve access to clean energy, create jobs and boost economic growth, all of which are vital to ending poverty,” FCDO said.
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The visit comes just over a week ahead of India Global Forum’s (IGF) UK-India Week 2023 in London and Windsor, during which climate and technology will be among the sectoral focus areas.
*Info: India Global Forum