India: 1.3 billion inhabitants and record economic performance. The country must now ensure its transition towards a sustainable mode of development, reconciling growth and respect for the environment. AFD has been supporting sustainable urban development, energy transitions and ecological preservation in India since 2008.
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AFD and India: Achieving successful urban, energy and ecological transitions
India metro Kochi

Reinventing cities

homme, métro de Kochi, Inde, transport

Reinventing cities

In India, the huge urban population growth poses a real challenge for cities. Efforts are underway to increase access to services like transportation, energy, housing, water and waste management. 

Sustainable mobility is central to AFD’s action in India where we are financing the construction of the metro lines in Bengaluru, Kochi, Nagpur, Pune and Surat. By 2022, more than 3 million people are expected to be using these metro networks every day. Major impacts are expected in terms of public health, urban productivity and economic development.

AFD also works towards sustainable use of water resources. To meet ever-increasing water demand and improve the quality of resources, we are assisting the cities of Jodhpur and Puducherry in optimizing their drinking water distribution network.

Finally, with the aim of sharing French expertise, we support the cities of Nagpur, Chandigarh and Pondicherry in the development and implementation of their "Smart City" projects. This national program aims to improve the performance and efficiency of urban services, particularly in the areas of transportation, governance, energy and the environment.

Financing the energy transition

Financing the energy transition

Financing the energy transition

Energy demand is expected to double by 2035, due to India’s strong population and economic growth. Consequently, ensuring energy security is a crucial political and economic issue for the Indian Government.

Renewable energy: India is going green 

Coal is still the country’s main energy resource. But to achieve its greenhouse gas reduction targets, set in the context of international climate negotiations, India is focusing on renewable energies and the efficiency of distribution grids. By 2030, the country aims to reach 40% of its power generation capacity through non-fossil resources.

AFD is supporting this transition by partnering with the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA). We are providing it with financial and technical assistance for the implementation of projects led by private developers in the fields of hydro, solar, wind and biomass energy.

Promoting energy efficiency

AFD also promotes energy efficiency measures. We are working alongside the public financial institution Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to facilitate access to credit for SMEs which invest in energy savings.
We are helping Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) promote energy savings in the lighting and public buildings sectors.

Protecting biodiversity

elephant, nature, biodiversity, India

Protecting biodiversity

India also has some of the world’s most remarkable natural wealth – flora and fauna. The country has two of the world’s eight most important biodiversity hotspots: the Western Ghats and Eastern Himalaya. However, this heritage is threatened, despite a strong legislative framework.

The state of Assam (North-east) has a proactive policy for the sustainable and participatory management of its forests, combining exploitation and preservation. AFD is supporting this approach by financing the reforestation of damaged forest areas, promoting forest management involving local populations, and raising the awareness of administrative staff and training them in terms of the importance of preserving the natural heritage.

Sharing technical expertise

India  metro Kochi cooperation technical

Sharing technical expertise

AFD meets demand for expertise from its Indian partners, in particular for mobility and urban services, but also for electricity generation and supply. It works with:

  • Public organizations (specialized operators, local authorities)
  • Private organizations (consultancy firms, consultants)
  • Civil society representatives (NGOs, research institutes)

For example, in Kochi, we have financed a technical cooperation program between Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) and the City of Lyon transport authority (SYTRAL) on topics related to sustainable mobility.

Finally, as part of an approach based on sharing French expertise, we are assisting the cities of Nagpur, Chandigarh and Pondicherry in the preparation and implementation of their 'Smart City' projects in the framework of the national Smart Cities mission. The success of this technical assistance prompted AFD to launch the CITIIS program with the European Union. In 2019, 12 cities were selected through a national challenge to receive financial and technical assistance from AFD and EU tailored to their respective smart city projects.


Raising awareness of sustainable development issues


Raising awareness of sustainable development issues

A key player in financial innovation for development, AFD is an active member of the India Innovation Lab for Green Finance which helps identify and develop innovative instruments for financing green infrastructure in India.

We also organize discussions among experts on public and participatory policies with the Centre for Policy Research (CPR). 


Culture to benefit the climate

AFD regularly organizes events with its partners to raise the awareness of the general public, as the issue of climate challenges must go beyond the circle of specialists.

In 2015, the year of COP21 in Paris, AFD organized “60 solutions against climate change”: a round-the-world look at innovative solutions through 21 photos by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The exhibition met with success when it was shown in Pondicherry, Kochi, Bangalore and New Delhi. 

A year later, on the anniversary date of the Paris Agreement, the documentary film “Tomorrow”, which has received financial support from AFD, was screened at the Alliance Française in Delhi. The screening was followed by a discussion with the public. 

Celebrating 10 years of Indo-French cooperation for development, the exhibition 'A World in Common' has travelled in different Indian cities in 2018. The photo exhibition highlights the collaboration between India and AFD on projects that promote sustainability in all its dimensions – social, economic and environmental and positive solutions that benefit people as well as their environment.

projects financed since 2008
million people will benefit from easier mobility by 2022
billion euros committed

With 1.3 billion inhabitants and rapid population growth, according to forecasts, India will have the world’s largest population by 2020. 

But India also has one of the world’s most dynamic economies. Indeed, since the implementation of a raft of economic reforms in the 1990s, it has been showing continued growth. If this trend continues, it will become one of the world’s four leading economies over the next twenty years.

However, the country’s population, urban and economic growth poses major challenges. The Indian government has set out to address these by adopting ambitious investment programs. The challenges: facilitate access to services for a large segment of the population which still does not benefit from them, address the huge infrastructure deficit, meet increasing energy demand, and reconcile economic development and environmental protection.

A partner of India since 2008, AFD works in agreement with Indian authorities to promote green and inclusive growth. It operates through loans to state and public enterprises as well as through technical assistance programs.

Our goal: To support sustainable urban development, energy transitions, and ecological preservation in India through an integrated and innovative approach.

AFD's India office is directly attached to the South Asia regional office.

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Eurasia and Beyond | India

India: In Kochi, Urban and Social Mobility Go Hand in Hand

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