New Delhi: India and Egypt decided to form a Joint Working Group for cooperation in the field of environment, climate change, urban waste management and environmental education.
While extending its full support to African nations in fighting the challenge of climate change, India also said that it will "always echo" African aspirations and partner with the nations.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar who returned to India after attending the African Ministerial Conference on Environment in Cairo on March 4-6, also reiterated that various issues should be resolved at the earliest for the upcoming UN climate conference scheduled at the end of the year in Paris, to succeed.
"India and Egypt decided to form a Joint Working Group for cooperation in environment and climate change and to operationalise the MoU which was entered into between the two countries earlier. It will consist of concerned officers of India and Egypt and the first meeting will be held in the near future in India," an Environment Ministry statement said.
It said that the group will discuss and finalise the areas of cooperation in the fields of climate change, urban waste management, hazardous waste management, environmental education and all other facets of environmental governance between the two countries.
Noting that India's stand on climate change is "mostly" the same as that of the African Union, Javadekar said that India will "stand by" African countries.
"The developed world must take action immediately as time is short and the world must act fast. If we want Paris Convention to succeed, we need to sort out issues in time," he said.
Javadekar who raised the issue of inadequacy of Green Climate Fund and unresolved issue of critical technology, during his speech in Cairo, said that India will echo African aspirations and partner in fighting climate change challenge.
"The pledges for Green Climate Fund are inadequate. The issue of critical technology is unresolved. India will aways echo African aspirations and partner in fighting the challenge of climate change," he said.
During his visit, Javadekar engaged with a number of Ministers from African countries in separate bilateral talks, including the Minister of Environment from Ghana, Bernice Adiku Heloo, Somalia's Buri Mohamed Hamza, Ethiopia's Belete Tafere, Mali's Mohamed Ag Erlaf, Tanzania's Binilith Satano Mahenge, Angola's Fátima Jardim, Uganda's Ephraim Kamuntu and the Democratic Republic of Congo's Liyotja Ndjoli.
He also met the Executive Director of UNEP, Achen Steiner.
Javadekar during his speech in the Ministerial conference had said that adaptation and mitigation must be accorded "equal" importance and developing countries like African countries and India are particularly impacted by adverse impacts of climate change.
Noting that India has been invited to the conference for the first time, he had said that cooperation with African nations will be taken to a new level under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and stressed that both should work together on the path of clean energy.
Javadekar had said that the issues like technology transfer along with know-how at an affordable cost need "immediate attention".
"As we formulate INDCs, certain issues need immediate attention. One of those is technology transfer along with know-how at an affordable cost so that we are able to move expeditiously towards lowering of the energy intensity of our economic growth and improving energy efficiency in various sectors," he had said.