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Ambassador’s speech at the inauguration of the Solar Power Plant at the Embassy of India, Antananarivo on 2nd October 2020

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Ambassador’s speech at the inauguration of the Solar Power Plant at the Embassy of India, Antananarivo on 2nd Oct 2020

Honorable Prime Minister of Madagascar, H.E. Christian Ntsay,
H .E. RAHARINIRINA Baomiavotse Vahinala, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Madagascar
Resident  Coordinator of the United Nations System in Madagascar, Mr Moumini Ouédraogo,
UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Marie Dimond,
UNIDO Country Representative, Ms. Volatiana Rakotondrazafy
Mr Ambassador of the Union of the Comoros Mr. Caabi El Yachroutou
Ambassador of the United States, Mr. Michael Pelletier,
Dear Presidents of the various Indian communities,
Distinguished guests,
Friends from the media,  
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today is a very special day as we celebrate the grand finale of 150th birth anniversary of a great man, Mahatma Gandhi. Albert Einstein had said- "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth." 
Mahatma Gandhi was an ardent believer and practioner of non-violence. Today is also the International Day of Non-violence. His non-violence was not only towards other human beings but also towards nature. He said- "“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

He also said-“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another”.
Our violence towards nature has led to biodiversity loss, environmental pollution and climate change. Today on his birth anniversary and on international day of non-violence, we must commit ourselves to non-violence towards nature. 
Mahatma Gandhi also said - 'We must be the change we wish to see in the world' and today the Indian Embassy in Antananarivo has attempted to be that change by switching to solar energy.
Imagine all the Embassies and diplomatic missions in the world going solar or using some form of renewable energy to fight climate change, biodiversity loss and Environmental pollution. Would it not be a change we would like to see as the Embassies and diplomatic missions represent their countries and Governments all across the world.
Since my arrival in Antananarivo in March 2019, I have been trying to make a transition from fossil fuels to solar energy here. Indian Embassy Antananarivo consumes an average of 8 KW of power, mostly during the day time as the Embassy works from 8:30 am to 5 pm. So I thought why not to switch to a roof top solar power source which could not only be environment friendly but would also be a cheaper and more reliable source of power as Antananarivo gets sun across the year and Madagascar is also a member of International Solar Alliance. After a year and half of carrying this vision in my head, it is bearing fruit.
We are also the first Indian Embassy globally to become a clean and green Embassy with the installation of 8 KW of solar power plant on rooftop which has been executed by a Malagasy company Vision Madagascar, highlighting India-Madagascar partnership.  
Both India and Madagascar are members of the International Solar Alliance which aims to promote solar energy to fight climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental pollution and the presence of H.E. Christian Ntsay, Hon'ble Prime Minister of Madagascar shows the commitment of the Government of Madagascar towards using solar energy in fighting climate change, biodiversity loss and environemental pollution.
It is the policy of the Government of India to promote clean and green energy to mitigate Climate Change and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Thanks to the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make transition to clean and green solar energy that the International Solar Alliance was founded in 2015. Madagascar was one of the founding members of the International Solar Alliance. 
Prime Minister Modi has called for connecting solar energy supply across national borders giving the mantra of 'One World One Sun One Grid'. Under the One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) programme, India envisages to have an inter-connected power transmission grid across nations for the supply of clean energy.
India has emerged as a global leader in renewable energy, and in fact we are investing more in them than it is in fossil fuels. Climate Action Tracker calculates that India’s plan is compatible with a below 2 degree C increase in average global temperature compared to pre-industrial levels as envisaged in the Paris Agreement. 
India is the cheapest producer of solar energy as per IRENA. India has 37 gigawatts of installed solar electricity as of now and has raised its target of renewable energy capacity from the initial 2015 goal of 175 gigawatts to 500 gigawatts by 2030. India could extend a helping hand to Madagascar in adding 400 MW of additional energy required to meet the Emergence initiative of President Andrey Rajoelina.
Let me end my remarks with these words of Mahatma Gandhi- "Earth has enough for everybody's need, but not enough for everybody's greed."
It is time to change. This decade (2020-2030) is a decisive decade to change. Either we change or perish. Today, we have made a small change by switching to solar power with the hope that future embassies will be clean and green embassies.
I would like to thank each one of you for gracing the event with your presence.