India, Norway vow to clear oceans of plastic litter

India-Norway agreement on climate crisis.
The governments to work with other countries for an effective response to curb direct and indirect factors that drive biodiversity loss.

India and Norway on Sunday agreed to jointly address concerns over environment, oceans and climate matters. Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar issued a joint statement with Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Sveinung Rotevan on the sidelines of the 13th conference of the convention on the conservation of migratory species held at Gandhinagar. Meeting at the beginning of the conference, Javadekar and Rotevan said the countries will ensure rapid action on climate and environment in the coming decade. India and Norway said they will strengthen bilateral cooperation on environment, climate and ocean affairs.

A joint statement issued by the countries said measures to tackle climate change and air pollution presented a win-win situation for the countries and agreed to step up action and raise this agenda together. The ministers said the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol for phasing out the use of Hydrofluorocarbons could reduce global warming by up to 0.40C in the current century. The projects backed by Norway to end the use of HFCs will continue to facilitate the smooth transition towards energy efficiency and technologies.

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The leaders agreed that the ocean holds the key to meeting the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Erna Solberg lauded the signing of the memorandum of understanding on India-Norway Ocean Dialogue and the setting up of a joint task force for sustainable development. The ministers expressed happiness over the progress made under this agreement. The countries will sign an agreement on integrated ocean management and sustainable Blue Economy initiatives.

The leaders stressed the importance of concrete, scalable solutions at the UN Ocean Conference to be held in Lisbon in June this year. They agreed on the importance of sustainable management of chemicals and waste, while welcoming the cooperation between the two countries on the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The countries shared a common vision to reduce plastic pollution and the importance of a global agreement on plastic pollution, they said.

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The ministers said the governments will work together with other countries for an effective response to curb direct and indirect factors that drive biodiversity loss. They agreed on an ambitious, strong, practical and effective biodiversity framework at COP15 scheduled to be held in China later this year. The countries agreed that the fifth UN Environment Assembly should call for concerted international action on environmental matters and sustainable development goals.