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Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn to visit India

Cooperation to reduce plastic litter worldwide, reduce climate gas emissions and securing global biodiversity is on top of the agenda when Norway's Minister of Climate and Environment, Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn's visits India from February 14.-20.

India and Norway have over almost 15 years developed a close cooperation on environmental matters. In 2006, the Norwegian-Indian Cooperation Commission was established, in order for the two countries to share experiences on environmental management.

- I am looking forward to discuss with Minister Javadekar and Minister Vardhan how to strengthen our cooperation further, both when it comes to concrete projects and important international environmental processes, says Rotevatn.

Minister Rotevatn's travel to India builds on Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg's visit in January 2019. In 2019, Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Erna Solberg established an Ocean Dialogue and a joint task force on blue economy. As a part of this cooperation several projects on combatting marine plastics litter have been developed. For example will Indian and Norwegian experts work together to develop a system of how to map the sources of marine litter.

Plastic pollution has become a persistent and widespread challenge reaching all corners of the world. Prime Minister Modi is facing this challenge with the Swachh Bharat Mission and banning single-use plastic products by 2022.

- I am very impressed with India's efforts to beat plastic pollution. Norway thinks that we need a global agreement dedicated to stopping marine plastics litter and micro plastics, and we invite India to participate in the global process to develop a stronger response to this urgent problem, says Rotevatn.

Norway is so far one of three countries, and the only Western country, which have submitted an enhanced climate target under the Paris agreement. Norway's new and strengthened target is to reduce emissions with at least 50 %, and towards 55 % by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Prime Minister Modi has announced that India also will update her nationally determined contribution.

- Forests and land use are often underestimated parts of the climate solution. We regard India as an international forerunner here, having established increased carbon sequestration in forests as a national climate contribution. We look forward to a dialogue with India on forests and nature, says Rotevatn.

India and Norway have been working together to show how alternatives to the strong climate gas, HFC, can be used as a refrigerant in for example supermarkets. HFCs were in 2016 regulated under the Montreal Protocol.

- Our bilateral cooperation on reducing the emissions of the strong climate gas HFCs demonstrates that we can do more to reduce climate gas emissions when we work together and share technologies, says Rotevatn.

In many regards, 2020 is an "environmental super year" with highly important international conferences on both climate, biodiversity and marine littering. Rotevatn look anticipates positive results from the COP13 on the CMS-convention on migrating species and underlines the importance of having a broad ecosystem approach to solve the great environmental challenges of our time.

- Establishing national legislations based on science to protect nature is a global challenge. Increased cooperation and dialogue between countries to share knowledge and solutions is essential to reach our common goals, says Sveinung Rotevatn.

Historical Summary of Norway's cooperation with India

  • Environmental cooperation between India and Norway started in 2006, when the Norwegian-Indian Cooperation Commission established its own environmental working group. The working group had its first meeting in 2007.
  • In recent years, the focus has been on projects related to HFCs, hazardous chemicals, marine pollution and the ocean.
  • India is one of the countries with which Norway has a formal ocean dialogue.
  • During Prime Minister Solberg's visit in January 2019, a working group on the blue economy was established.
  • The cooperation under the "India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative" is well under way and a letter of intent on the "India-Norway Integrated Ocean Management & Research Initiative" will be signed during the visit.
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