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 it since 2008.
AFD and India: Achieving successful urban, energy and ecological transitions
India metro Kochi

Reinventing cities

subway Bangalore, India

Reinventing cities

India is experiencing major population growth. This poses a real challenge for cities, which need to adapt their infrastructure and improve service quality. Sustainable mobility, access to water and electricity and waste treatment are all major challenges for the country’s future.

Sustainable mobility is one of the pillars of AFD’s action. We are financing the Kochi City metro, which will improve the quality of life for residents, while reducing CO2 emissions.

To meet ever-increasing water demand and improve the quality of resources, we are assisting Jodhpur City in optimizing its drinking water distribution network

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. This national program aims to address the challenges of urban service performance and efficiency, with a focus on transport, governance, energy and the environment.

Financing the energy transition

Solar panels, renewable energy, India

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. The objective: a national energy mix with 40% of renewables by 2020.

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). The result: a renovated and efficient metro and projects to create pedestrian areas and develop intersections to improve sustainable mobility throughout the City of Kochi.

In September 2015, AFD also organized a study trip to France for senior officials and employees from the Indian public energy service company. It provided the opportunity to discuss with representatives from the cities of Paris and Lyon and French companies specialized in this sector.

Raising awareness of sustainable development issues

Cover of the exhibition “60 solutions against climate change”

Raising awareness of sustainable development issues

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.

Since 2008, we have been actively participating in the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, an international event based on sustainable development and climate change. We successfully launched the English version of a flagship publication “A Planet for Life” (“Regards sur la Terre”) at this summit. This event is organized by the Indian think tank The Energy and Resources Institute, with which AFD has close links. 

We also organize discussions among experts on public and participatory policies in the context of a partnership with the Centre for Policy Research. 

In addition, AFD is a member of the India Innovation Lab for Green Finance, which aims to identify and develop innovative instruments to finance green infrastructure in India.

Culture to benefit the climate

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. 

projects financed in 10 years
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 them 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.

AFD has been a partner of India since 2008. It operates in three areas agreed with local authorities. It operates through loans to the State and State-owned companies, as well as technical assistance programs. Our objective: help India successfully achieve its urban, energy and ecological transitions.  

Interactive map
This map is for illustrative purposes only and does not engage the responsibility of the AFD Group
Funding type


  • Climate
  • Employment and Shared Prosperity
  • Energy
  • Forests and Biodiversity
  • Gender Equality
  • Infrastructures
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Sustainable Consumption and Production
  • Water and Sanitation

Funding type

  • Green Credit Line
  • Non Sovereign Concessional Loan
  • Non Sovereign Non Concessional Loan
  • Sovereign Concessional Loan
  • Sovereign Non Concessional Loan


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