New Delhi [India], June 30 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that India has been pushing a lot of green energy projects and said that with more green lending, the country can lead the world in a certain direction.
In conversation with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair at the India Global Forum 2021 - 'Global Leadership Radical Actions for a Post-Pandemic Era', Jaishankar said: "India, on its part, has been pushing a lot of green energy projects, one in India itself. Today, we have one of the largest solar programmes in the world and we have also been using both bilateral partnership programmes and International Solar Alliance to push green electricity generation, especially in Africa."
"We finance development using soft loans by eschewing lending. We could actually take the world in a certain direction so if we did more green lending...the world will be moving in that direction," he added.
The minister said that the move entails governmental policies and change of public mindsets and highlighted long-needed reforms in India, which had their own challenges.
Meanwhile, speaking on the private sector rising to the challenge of climate change, Blair said: "India is going to carry on great. I mean, by the middle of the century, India, China and America are going to be the three largest economies of all... If we India to grow sustainably, we have got to be there as a partner in helping in it to do so."
On the issue of COVID-19, Blair called it as a "geopolitical issue" and highlighted that the world is still dealing with new variants in countries like India, UK, Brazil and South Africa. He added that "we are likely to get new variants".
"We have to back vaccines, we have to carry out vaccine production and we have to coordinate that vaccine production so that we are creating enough vaccines to, I would like to say, at least the most vulnerable, the frontline health workers and the working populations vaccinated this year and then the job completed by next year," he said, while stressing that the best for this is presenting global cooperation as enlightened self-interest.
Agreeing with Blair, Jaishankar said: "It is the burning issue right now and it will not happen unless enough capabilities which are spread around the world and vaccines is a very good example."
He said that the world has to come together to scale up COVID-19 vaccines and address other challenges at the same time.
"We are still in the middle of a second national wave. At one level, it was a very scarring experience in which the virulence was so great, but on the other hand, we did see the world rally around... That may not have solved the problem, but at least now I would say compared to last year, 2021 was the beginning of the willingness of the world to work together on this problem," he remarked.
The external affairs minister said that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken health right up the priority list, citing African nations working with India to strengthen health infrastructure. (ANI)