H.E. Freddy Svane

Ambassador of Denmark to India

“Bhumi mata, putro eham prithvya:” i.e. “we the humans are children of Mother Earth.

Today our planet is stressed more than ever. We talk about, but are we changing our habits.  Our Mother is sweating and choking as temperatures are rising and air pollution is blocking the clear sky. Do we the children listen to our Mother?

It is almost too late. Only concerted action can bring us back to future. 

Living in the World’s largest democracy India. A living civilization that transforms unprecedentedly. Every step even the smallest one has a scale.

In my personal opinion, the conception of a better future begins with the vision of #NewIndia.

With its 1.4 billion inhabitants and its growing economy, India and its parameters prove a vital player in the world’s path towards a sustainable Mother Earth. On the map, India stretches over mountaintops, beaches, and numerous sizeable cities in between. In other words, India has scale, but more importantly, India also has skills.

One does not have to look much further than the shadow of COVID-19 to grasp India’s instant ability to adapt. The pandemic met India in a state of total and complete unpreparedness, lacking PPE’s, masks, test kits, ventilators, drugs, and adequate hospital facilities.  Yet, unlike any other country, India calibrated, at a remarkable speed, an efficient strategy to instantaneously provide the needed response. Uniquely, proving its capacity and its capabilities that will continue to reform and transform India.

#NewIndia offers scale and skill to the global struggle for a greener future. With its proven scope and speed, India can direct the world towards turning current climatic challenges into international opportunities. Moreover, with India’s green agenda and political leadership by PM Narendra Modi, India will increasingly be the epicenter for tectonic shifts in economic and societal development.

So when asking me what my perception of a greener, better future is – it starts with India. I genuinely believe our Mother Earth’s future belongs to India, a nation that, like no other nation, can develop a modern society with human dignity for so many in such a short time.

Mother Earth is our common home. We must honor our mother by actions. We all have to take the responsibility individually. What we do in our daily life – small or big – will leave behind a footprint.

What will it take to change the current direction that has put our planet at risk?

It calls for actions and human interaction. India is – in its own way – responding with speed and scope.

India needs to be strong economically and politically to pursue its own national interests. India is transforming at an unprecedented speed bridging the past with the future. The world needs a strong India to cope with global challenges like climate changes, pandemics and slow growth. India has an unleashed potential that is being released amidst the Covid-19-cirisis. No other country has initiated so many structural reforms as India and the Modi-government has done during  the Covid-19-crisis. India will – in the Indian way – develop her own strengths, securing that India can take up the wanted position as the driver for inclusive growth, innovation and development. What normally takes generations is now happening in front of us. Given the scale of India, the impact of digitization will transform India and its economy with speed and scope. No other country combines scale, skills, scope and speed as India does. Self-reliant India is a step on this path. However it calls for close cooperation with relevant stakeholders from outside be it other countries or the private sector.

A weak or inward-looking India will not serve anybody’s interest. India’s interactions with the outside world has increased over the years, and India is now fully integrated in the global economy. May India become the new strong accelerator of growth, innovation and new emerging and strategic technologies. Hopefully this trajectory will be based on sustainability, so India will be the leading driver for a green transformation.

Small Denmark and big India have tied up to lead this transformation.

Our two Prime Ministers have just recently agreed to a Green Strategic Partnership – a partnership of the New Age. Denmark and our companies are cutting edge drivers of cleantech and of a true green transition. India has the scale whereas Denmark has the skills. The Prime Ministers also added speed, due to the urgency, and scope, and given the overall complexity of this gigantic task. Danish companies have been investing in India, and are ready to accelerate their investment programs. We are also eager to tap into the huge growth potential that India’s vast eco-system of start-ups and innovators is representing.

Denmark has over the years become a World leader in clean-tech and the green transformation of our economy and of our society. We have skills within water – upstream and downstream. We have reduced Non-Revenue Water (NRW) to 7-8% and in our main city to 3-4%. Likewise we have almost reduced our water consumption since 1980 with almost 50%, despite doubling our economy.  We are ready to engage with stakeholders on the Indian side to share our experiences & expertise. Energy, in particular wind-energy onshore and in the future also off-shore, is another important field where we see a huge potential.

The global leader Vestas has already invested substantially in India, and more is under execution. We are also a global player in food-processing and organic farming. Being a farming country – and a land of dairy – we can be a skill-partner for India. All these areas will fit well into the missions and vision of Prime Minister Modi, and especially the most important mission of the #NewIndia.  Our partnership will reform-perform-transform!

Urgency is there, and we need put all the nice statements into real actions. Future does not rest or wait, we must shape it. India and EU are sharing all the same values and we should be strategic partners not only in summits and in declarations, but also in real time actions.

Denmark and we the Danes have already listened to Mother Earth. We have come far in our green transformation. We are extremely conscious about usage of natural resources. We are moving from the black ages of fossil fuels to green and natural energy.

Work on! Hold on! Be brave! Dare anything and everything!

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