On 5th and 6th December 2017, Climate Parliament legislators from Africa, Latin America and Asia, as well as global business leaders, met for the Global Parliamentary Roundtable in New Delhi. Over the two days, discussions covered international energy grid interconnections, smart grids, electric vehicles, village mini-grids, rural electrification, and the possible financial instruments to fund such initiatives.
Rajiv Pratap Rudy MP, Chair of the Climate Parliament group in the Indian parliament opened proceedings on the first day, stating that “now is the time to design a better future, and I’m sure the next 48 hours will be a part of it.” Also in attendance was the Indian Minister for Power, Hon. R.K. Singh who spoke to the participants about India’s ambitious targets for renewable energy and energy access. Speaking about India’s participation in Climate Parliament’s new global initiative, he said "we are so happy to partner with you because you are engaged in work that is important for the whole planet, and which empowers people. The Green Grid Alliance is an important and urgent initiative".
What followed was an enlightening day of presentations, panel sessions and regional group discussions. Contributors included Marylaure Crettaz from the Swiss Cooperation Office in India, Spyros Chatzivasileiadis from the Technical University of Denmark, Chintan Shah from Suzlon, Neha Kumar from the Climate Bonds Initiative, Deepak Gupta from the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, and Rahul Walawalkar from Customized Energy Solutions.
On Wednesday 6th December, the day the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement came into force, Upendra Tripathy joined the roundtable to discuss the importance of the document, urging parliamentarians to encourage their governments to sign and ratify it. “Access to light is not a comfort or a luxury, but a right,” said Tripathy.
The meeting also served as a preparatory meeting for a new Green Grid Initiative which the Climate Parliament is organising and expects to officially launch in Mexico in 2018. The Green Grid Initiative aims to accelerate the transition to a 100% renewably-powered world through international energy interconnections. It will comprise a South-South leadership group of 20 developing countries (including India) at the ministerial level (Green Grid Alliance), a network of national legislators from the participating countries (Green Grid Network), and a forum of business leaders (Green Grid Leadership Forum). The Green Grid Leadership Forum will provide ideas and advice to the governments and legislators.
The session ended with a chance for all participants to go round the table and voice their thoughts on the meetings, and recommendations for the future focus of the Green Grid Initiative. Legislators and business leaders thanked the presenters and panelists for sharing their expertise, and praised the thought-provoking meeting as being an excellent platform for collaboration. Participants left inspired to take climate action in their governments and constituencies across the world.
This parliamentary roundtable was made possible by support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).