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NEW DELHI: The 27-member European Union has joined India’s Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) initiative, following its endorsement of the charter of the CDRI earlier.

Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 at the UN Climate Change Summit, the CDRI is an international platform involving public and private sector, aiming to promote resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks while supporting sustainable development.

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According to a statement from the EU on Thursday, “climate-related extreme events are increasing globally, and the covid-19 pandemic has further reinforced the need for robust disaster preparedness and investment in renewable energy, green infrastructure, energy and resource efficiency, large-scale retrofitting, renovation projects and the circular economy."

In this context, the CDRI is a welcome initiative to help tackle these objectives in a multilateral approach, which will help implementation of the Paris Agreement, through both global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and enhanced climate change adaptation action, it said.

"We are happy to join CDRI, an initiative fully aligned with the objectives of the European Green Deal and of the recently adopted EU Strategy on Adaptation," EU’s ambassador to India, Ugo Astuto said on Thursday.

"We wish to make adaptation smarter, swifter, more systemic and to step up international action. We look forward to exploring synergies and combining forces with CDRI in this respect."

Welcoming India’s leadership of the CDRI, Astuto said, “Increased resilience, including development of sustainable and resilient infrastructure is also a key priority under the EU-India strategic partnership."

The move comes a day after Modi addressed the International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure via video link. In his comments, the prime minister warned that given infrastructure systems spanned the entire world, effects of a disaster at one place can quickly spread.

International cooperation was imperative to ensure the resilience of such systems, he said. Countries that are making large investments in infrastructure, like India, must ensure that this was an investment in resilience and not in risk, he added.

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