UK's Liz Truss travels to India to push for ambitious climate pledges

Trip to drive forward the 'Build Back Better World' initiative launched by G7 leaders

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will use a two-day visit to India to announce technology and infrastructure deals aimed at boosting trade links and battling climate change.

In the run-up to the UN Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow, Ms Truss will urge India’s Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav to commit to more ambitious goals for emission reduction.

The announcements made during the trip will help to advance the Build Back Better World initiative launched by G7 leaders including US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Under the initiative, wealthy democracies will invest in developing countries’ infrastructure to combat China’s growing global influence.

Ms Truss will outline agreements to deepen investment ties between the two countries and to work together on finance and technical support packages for the developing world.

The deals include technology transfer and sharing knowledge with developing countries, along with heavy capital investment, in a model that the UK is looking to replicate with nations around the world.

In Delhi, Ms Truss will also meet External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar before heading to Mumbai, where she will visit the UK carrier strike group.

During the trip, she will announce a £50.4 million ($69.4m) investment by the Foreign Office’s investment arm, CDC, to fund green technology infrastructure.

Ms Truss will also unveil £11.5m for two venture capital funds supporting the transition to cleaner energy, and £500,000 to build an online network of UK and Indian laboratories promoting net-zero targets in key industries.

“I want the UK and India to step up their partnership in critical areas like technology, investment, security and defence," she said.

“India is the world’s largest democracy, a tech and economic powerhouse and a vital strategic partner for the UK.

“Closer ties, including in areas like tech and infrastructure, will deliver jobs and growth in both countries, boost developing world economies and help us to promote our values on the global stage.”

Ms Truss and Mr Jaishankar will announce a Strategic Futures Forum, bringing together leading figures from government, business and academia in both countries to develop closer links in areas such as tech and security.

It came as Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury urged world leaders meeting at Cop26 to “be bolder, be more generous, be just to the poorest".

“Make it work, it’s in all our interests and the world is behind you making it work. Don’t lose your nerve," he told the PA news agency.

While conceding it would be very hard to transition from fossil fuels, the former oil industry worker said: “I do think we’re seeing the end of the fossil fuel era, and we ought to be seeing the end of the fossil fuel era.

“If it isn’t the end of the fossil fuel era, we need to be approaching that.

“But that needs to be done with justice for the whole world, not just for us, and for everyone at every level of income, not just those who can afford higher electricity and gas bills.”

Updated: October 22nd 2021, 9:38 AM
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