India, France to step up coop. in clean energy sector

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New Delhi, Sept 10 (UNI) Days after the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) gave a clean waiver to India for nuclear trade with the rest of the world, India and France have decided to step up cooperation in the energy sector for promoting energy-efficient technologies.

The two countries will sign an agreement for collaboration in promoting energy-efficient projects during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to France.

As part of the agreement, the French Development Agency (AFD) will start its operations in India with focus on promoting clean technologies, it was announced here today.

''We plan to support the Government of India on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) terms in several areas,'' Mr Jean-Michel Severino, Chief Executive Officer of the AFD told reporters here.

The areas would be selected by the Indian Government.

Mr Jean-Michel Severino said he had met senior officials in the Department of Economic Affairs, Planning Commission and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency.

''We want to finalise the agreement before the visit takes place,'' he said.

Replying to questions, he said they would cooperate with both the public and private sector.

''We have been present in Asia for many years and have extended our presence to China, Thailand, Indonesia and Pakistan.'' He said no country in the world could depend upon only one source of energy and India would also have to go for different energy sources to sustain its growth. It could not depend only on a single source of energy.

Observing that climate change and economic growth of a country were dircetly proportional to each other, Mr Jean-Michel Severino said the countries which do not help control global warming, will have their economic growth slowed down.

''The countries which do not take the challenges of global warming seriously, will have an impact on their economies...Glbal warming is deeply-rooted in the agenda of growth, competitiveness and development,'' he added.

UNI RB RR GC1741

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