After the US backed out of the Paris Agreement, the challenge of climate change has reached a new level. Tropical or subtropical regions like India are among the first to suffer from the consequences. Yet, through population-growth and digitalization, the country’s energy-demand is increasing by the hour. Most of the energy-supply comes from fossil fuels and is needed, to establish a stable energy-network. With regards to international climate agreements however, the current Indian government has made commitments towards renewable energy, too.
On November 10th 2017 we organized a panel discussion on "India and Germany – a new climate leadership and the quest for renewable energy" in the context of India Week Hamburg. The discussion was hosted in cooperation with the International Media Center.

We discussed the future of energy- and climate-politics in India: What needs to be done to fulfill international and national climate-goals? Are the current strategies leading the right way and if not – what could be done better? How can both allies – India and Germany – work on this together?

We had a very interesting evening with our panelists Chandra Bhushan, Joachim Betz and Rajnish Tiwari. Our moderator was Julia Wadhawan, freelance journalist Hamburg and member of the executive board of the IGMN.


Please find a selection of quotes:


Quotes by Chandra Bhushan

Director General of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi

"The Paris Agreement was probably one of the weekest climate agreements you can think about. It was designed to suit the US. If the US walks away, the very rationale of the agreement looses it’s relevance."

"I come back with very little hope [from the climate summit in Bonn]."

"Does the rich in India play the poor? Absolutely."

"Developing countries are never going to get their just share of the budget because developed countries including Germany will take their budget."

"In 20 years we are going to finish the budget for 2 degrees."


Quotes by Joachim Betz

South Asia Expert, GIGA-Institute, Hamburg

"India could do a bit more [to reduce emissions]. It is easy to reach those climate goals."

"It is not true that if you are poor, you can’t afford sustainable energy. The poverty argument holds an alibi function for the middle and upper classes to do nothing."

"India is not producing enough solar cells and is not very competitive in the solar [market]. If they expand the problem, many people will be dependent of Chinese imports."

"India has to cut emissions not only for the sake of global warming, but for its own future."

Quotes by Rajnish Tiwari

Senior Research Fellow and Program Director at the Institute for Management of Technology and Innovation, TU Hamburg 

"There are many Indias. The urban areas are very different from the rural areas. India is almost as big as the European Union to put that in perspective. [...] It uses lots of very old devices, instruments, transportation, which is causing environmental damage. With better energy access things could get better."

"You will need technological and social innovation."

"One of the major problems in power distribution in India is also power theft."

"India is condemned to have a renewable energy future. There is no other way."
Quotes selected by Verena Patel, freelance journalist and member of the IGMN.
All pictures by Paula Markert.