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NEW DELHI : UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced new steps to tackle climate change including a $1.2 billion package of public and private investment in green projects and renewable energy, a statement from the UK High Commission said. 

This includes $1billion in investment from the CDC, the UK’s development finance institution in green projects in India over five years ie between 2022-2026, the statement said. “This builds on CDC’s $1.99 billion existing portfolio of private sector investments in India," it said.  

Besides this, there was a “new $200 million private and multilateral investment into the joint UK-India Green Growth Equity Fund which invests in Indian renewable energy," the statement said. 

The two countries also jointly launched the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) India partnership aimed at mobilizing private capital into sustainable infrastructure in India. These investments will support India’s target of 450GW renewable energy by 2030, the statement said. 

The announcements were among the major takeaways on the occasion of the 11th Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) between the UK and India which also explored ways to boost two way investment, the statement said. The Indian delegation was led by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and included Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das and Securities and Exchange Board of India Chairman Ajay Tyagi. The UK delegation was led by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and included Bank of England Governor Bailey, and Financial Conduct Authority CEO Nikhil Rathi. 

The announcements come ahead of the UK hosting the climate change Conference of Parties conference in Glasgow in November.  New Delhi has been seeking technology and funds to achieve its climate change goals and lower emissions of green house gases. 

 “Supporting India’s green growth is a shared priority so I’m pleased that we’ve announced a $1.2bn investment package, and launched the new CFLI India partnership, to boost investment in sustainable projects in India as the UK gears up to host COP26," the statement quoted UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak as saying. 

According to the UK High Commission statement, during the EFD, “the Chancellor and the Finance Minister also agreed to be ambitious when considering services in the upcoming UK-India trade negotiations, which could open up new opportunities for UK financial firms and help more Indian companies to access finance in the City of London. Services account for 71% of UK GDP (Gross Domestic Product), and 54% of Indian GDP."  

At a virtual summit meeting in May, India and the UK had announced plans conclude an interim trade pact that would pave the way for a broader Free Trade Agreement or FTA which would in turn help in doubling trade between their two countries by 2030. 

 “With trade negotiations also coming up, our agreement to be ambitious when considering services will create new opportunities in both markets, supporting jobs and investment in the UK and India," Sunak said. 

UK High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis added that the EFD Dialogue between Indian and UK finance ministers was “another step towards realising the ambition agreed between Prime Ministers (Boris) Johnson and (Narendra) Modi in the 2030 bilateral Roadmap; especially, with the COP26 climate conference starting in Glasgow in two months, in tackling climate change. Today’s discussions and agreements show what closer economic and financial ties between the UK and India can offer." 

The two sides also agreed to new cooperation under the UK-India Infrastructure Partnership with the UK’s Infrastructure Projects Authority to support India’s ambitious National Infrastructure Pipeline. There would also be emphasis on  “strengthening"  the UK-India strategic partnership on Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT)-City, India’s first International Financial Services Centre, to support GIFT to become a Fintech and sustainable finance hub, it said. Barclays became the third UK bank to commence operations in GIFT City this year, after HSBC and Standard Chartered, it added. 

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