Germany And India Pledge Climate Cooperation, But Differ On Ukraine Attacks

The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged 10 billion euros ($10.51 billion in USD) to support India in achieving their climate goals after meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, despite their differing opinions in the attacks on Ukraine. The prime minister refrains from pointing to Russia as the aggressor in what he refers to as a “special military operation,” while expressing minimal concern over the suffering. While he explains in a recent interview that “he appealed for peace,” there is still no clear side taken. The relationship between India and Russia is intertwined based on India’s reliance on Russia for military hardware. According to Business Insider, Russia provided over $13.6 billion in weapons to India from 2012-2013. While the U.S. provides just under $2 billion, it is understandably difficult for them to convince India to fully transition to their provision rather than Russia. A full change to a new military service can bring political turmoil, yet it may remain to be a necessary step in ending the conflict.

On the other hand, Germany and India have been committed to global climate goals since 2015 with the “Indo-German Joint Statement on Climate Change and Energy Technology Cooperation” with many acknowledgements of the current climate situation. Both countries mutually appreciate the other’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and need for efficient energy. Their goals include transition to renewable energies, policy transparency, intensifying their cooperation’s development of sustainable solutions, and management of natural resources. These are apart of Sustainable Development Goals that the United Nations establishes. According to Reuters in 2021, India and Germany have already put 9 out of 10 measures forward to support the goals. While the pandemic has slowed resource availability, they are still making progress toward sustainable living that will only be grown through the funding put forward by Germany. 

These next few years are essential toward climate change initiatives and providing substantial sustainable resources for corporations, and daily life. People who are specifically in less developed countries, have been and will continue to be, the most at risk for the effects of climate change subsequently impacting their human rights. It is great news for climate change goals to have countries continuously working together towards these initiatives, but it is difficult to separate from the full picture that they differ on other human rights issues. While the relationships between these countries are obviously complex, there is a grave misstep in the concept of war.

Prime Minister Modi refuses to name Russia as the attacker in the Ukraine invasion, proving to be troubling to the U.S. and other countries taking a strong stance against Russia. It is difficult to trust them when they are fully dedicated one human rights area of climate change, yet are unable to see the severe acts of violence occurring in Ukraine.

In the coming weeks, it is important for other UN and NATO countries to pressure India to understand the breadth of their choices, and urge that solidarity is essential for human rights support. Specifically, calling on Germany to motivate Prime Minister Modi to condemn Putin’s actions, will move us a step closer to true peace and meaningful change.