Prime Minister of Madagascar Christian Ntsay inaugurated the solar power plant at the Embassy of India, Antananarivo on the occasion of the 151th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Friday.
Many dignitaries including Environment Minister of Madagascar Raharinirina Baomiavotse Vahinala, Secretary-General of Energy and Hydrocarbons, Andry Andriantongarivo, Ambassador of the United States, Michael Pelletier and representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and United Nations attended the event.
It is the first Indian Embassy globally to become a clean and green Embassy with the installation of 8 KW of solar power plant on its rooftop which has been implemented by a Malagasy company Vision Madagascar highlighting the India-Madagascar partnership.
Prime Minister Ntsay said, “I think that India is showing us now that it is possible to change. Switching from thermal to solar, it is a great challenge, but we need to go beyond words and make it as a reality and now we can say that you have made a difference and I want to congratulate you and your team again for this great achievement.”
He added, “I would like to emphasise that Madagascar is very impressed by this achievement; I expect that all Embassies in Antananarivo and all over the country will also switch from fossil energy to solar energy. We, our office can learn from this great achievement as well.”
Environment Minister Raharinirina Baomiavotse Vahinala said, “I want to congratulate this initiative on behalf of our Government because it is a big step towards economic development without losing sight of our environment.”
She appreciated the initiative by the Indian ambassador and said, “I salute your commitment and your initiative for this achievement, which is a commitment that benefits our two countries and that ensures both sustainable development and the preservation of our environment. We would then like to strengthen and continue the collaboration between our two countries. Thank you for being a leader and contributing to Madagascar’s energy transition goals.”
Speaking at the function, Indian ambassador to Madagascar Abhay Kumar said, “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 Christian Ntsay, the Prime Minister of Madagascar shows the commitment of the Government of Madagascar towards using solar energy in fighting climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental pollution.”
“It is the policy of the Government of India to promote clean and green energy to mitigate climate change and achieve sustainable development goals. It was the vision of 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,” he added.
Kumar said that India has emerged as a global leader in renewable energy.
“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 Celsius increase in average global temperature compared to pre-industrial levels as envisaged in the Paris Agreement,” he said.
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi — “We must be the change we wish to see in the world”, he said that “today the Indian Embassy in Antananarivo has attempted to be that change by switching to solar energy”.