India walks the talk on climate change

India walks the talk on climate change
India walks the talk on climate change

In world pulled asunder by uncertainty and chaos, India has emerged as an unexpected leader paving the path towards great sustainability and resilience even as it battles against the pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused severe impacts to society and consequently disrupted businesses across the globe. Even as countries across the world struggle to come to grips with the pandemic, a spate of recent natural and manmade disasters is a stark reminder to governments, that pandemic or no pandemic, climate change isn't going away anytime soon. Certainly not without immediate accountability and steps to address the damage by businesses and governments alike. And if one takes into account the recent impact of rising air pollution in India's capital City, Delhi, or the chaos unleashed by the storms that battered Europe and the UK, then the domino effect climate change can have on human life and business is more than apparent.

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Climate of crisis

The fight against climate change has been in crisis ever America walked out the Paris Agreement under Trump's leadership. Since then, Trump's contribution to climate change has been prolific. Whether it is the rollback the Clean Power Plan which aimed to implement the usage of energy-efficient lightbulbs across America, a move that will increase carbon emissions by 34 million metric tons per year by 2025, equivalent to the annual emissions of 7 million cars. Or weakening laws on decreasing emissions, producing cars with more fuel-efficient engines and, the protection of endangered species. Trump has done it all.

Other countries like France, Australia, Germany, India have been facing their own problems. In particular, India has been at the receiving end of many climate change related disasters - The cyclone Amphan, the recent floods in Hyderabad and Mumbai, or the terrible air pollution in new Delhi that worsened the Covid-19 impact.

The Climate change debate has also been heavily skewed towards the bringing accountability for developing or emerging nations such as China, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh on controlling emissions. And here's where India plays a very interesting and important role.

Walking the talk

Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Information & Broadcasting and Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise, Prakash Javadekar virtually addressing at the India CEO Forum on Climate Change. India has demanded affordable green technology in a bid to implement it widely in its battle against climate change.
Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Information & Broadcasting and Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise, Prakash Javadekar virtually addressing at the India CEO Forum on Climate Change. India has demanded affordable green technology in a bid to implement it widely in its battle against climate change.

India is actually walking the talk when it comes to addressing climate change.

Not only is it on on track to meet its targets under to the Paris Agreement but it has now working to make green technology more affordable. “I am demanding that technology must be available at an affordable cost. Less emissions will only be possible if the technology is available at the right place,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said recently at the India CEO Forum on Climate Change.

"Climate change is a very important issue to be discussed world over and world action is needed on this. It is not like one country can make a difference.

The forum, chaired by the minister saw a strong representation of leadership from many of India's group prominent corporates, including Reliance, Tatas, Mahindra, Essar, ITC and Piramal Enterprises. Perhaps one of the highlights of the Forum was private sector pledging to work closely with the government to reduce their carbon footprint substantially over the next decade. The Indian industry also signed a declaration on climate change, with a number of industrial houses in the country will submit annual reports on climate-friendly actions taken by them to Environment Ministry on a regular basis.

All countries will have to work in that direction," Javadekar said in his keynote address adding that the United Nation′s ecosystem will definitely take note of India′s corporate world′s wonderful initiative to adhere to and even declare their own plans for carbon neutrality.

"My suggestion to the corporate world is to propagate what you′re doing and report to us, so we can do the same... India is walking the talk. India is 2 degrees compliant in action and in contributions. Therefore, we are asking world leaders and other countries that they should also walk the talk and be compliant with the Paris Agreement."

A firm step ahead towards mitigating climate change

India has already taken concrete steps to address climate change under PM Modi's leadership. From banning single-use plastic, to increasing its renewable energy capacity to 450 GW, to the PM's recent announcement on India's ambitious target of achieving the production of 450 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030. India under the stewardship of Modi has taken systematic and concrete steps to address climate change. Modi's charm and congeniality were instrumental in encouraging 121 countries worldwide to join the International Solar Alliance, an international alliance initiated by India that works for efficient implementation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. This is the same Modi charm that has inspired fifteen countries to date to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure launched during his address at the UN Climate Action Summit.

Javadekar's announcement during the forum on India's Nationally Determined Contribution under Paris Agreement would satisfy even the harshest critics. Under this initiative, India will be reducing its emission intensity by 35 percent and will have 100 GW Solar Power and 175 GW renewable energy by 2022.

In world pulled asunder by uncertainty and chaos, India has emerged as an unexpected leader paving the path towards great sustainability and resilience even as it battles against the pandemic. Proving, through example, that the time to start building back better is not post pandemic but now.

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