Swiss President calls for “deeper cooperation” with India on “clean energy, climate change and sustainable development”

Press release, 01.09.2017

H.E. President of the Swiss Confederation Mrs. Doris Leuthard inspired the young minds of India to have a vision of greener future driven by renewable energy and energy efficiency.

On the occasion of the State Visit of Swiss President H.E. Mrs. Doris Leuthard in India and to celebrate the “70 Years of Swiss-Indian Friendship” initiative, an interactive Town Hall on “Energy Policy and Climate Change” with the youth of India was held. The Town Hall was organized by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in partnership with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

In her Town Hall Address, President Leuthard highlighted the three main pillars of the Swiss Energy Strategy - to reduce the energy consumption and increase energy efficiency, to increase the use of renewable energies and to withdraw from the use of nuclear energy on a step-by-step basis. “By promoting energy efficiency and production using domestic renewable energies, Switzerland is also strengthening innovation – and generating investment and jobs in Switzerland. That benefits the population and the economy.” She added that storage technology will be the biggest solution to energy security. Battery is only one of the solutions, and here is a chance for start-ups and the industry as a whole to find more such innovative answers.

Drawing parallel to a shared vision on clean energy, she lauded India’s leadership in promoting renewable energies, indigenous manufacturing of renewable energy products under ‘Make in India’, and creating jobs through skill development in the sector.

Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General of TERI, added: “The objectives of our countries are similar as far as promoting clean energy within the framework of Sustainable Development Goals is concerned. India, as a developing nation, has set some very ambitious targets to ensure that the next generations inherit a clean energy future. Among other things, our economic development will critically depend on how many of the unelectrified households we are able to connect to the grid by 2019. This requires looking for solutions within and outside of our country. As a strategic partner, we look forward to strengthening our relationship with Switzerland to achieve these objectives.”

Switzerland and India are both signatories of the Paris Agreement and are committed to domestic and global actions to combat climate change. At the same time they recognize that both countries are equally vulnerable to climate change impacts. The President said that “with its aim to be one of the frontrunners in shaping a greener future, India has become an important partner for Switzerland in the field of energy and climate policy.”

About SDC and TERI Partnership
SDC and TERI have been working together for close to 23 years. The partnership has focused on reducing the energy consumption and increase energy efficiency in energy-intensive Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the brick, glass and foundry sectors. The partnership also focused on increasing the use of renewable energy (mainly biomass) in the MSME sector for heat applications and for enhancing access to electricity in remote villages of India. The partnership has also facilitated North-South and South-South technology and knowledge transfer.

About the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has been a partner of India for almost sixty years. Since 2011, SDC’s programme in India focuses specifically on the issue of climate change and environment. It is part of the SDC’s Global Programme Climate Change and Environment (GPCCE).The overarching goal is to contribute to a climate compatible development over the long term in India. Switzerland aims to safeguard development achievements from the negative impacts of climate change and seeks to reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions without compromising India’s development goals.

About The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is a leading think tank dedicated to conducting research for sustainable development of India and the Global South. TERI was established in 1974 as an information centre on energy issues. Over the decades, it has made a mark as a research institute, whose policy and technology solutions have transformed people's lives and the environment.

For more information, please contact:

Ruchita Jindal, Media Officer, Embassy of Switzerland, +91 11 4995 9500 ext. 800851,

Pallavi Singh, The Energy and Resources Institute, +91 11 24682100 ext: 2461,