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MAR 2024  
Feature
India's Quest towards a Green Future: With Green Initiatives and Climate Action

The interim budget 2024 has provided a significant focus on the green economy and investments for combating climate change. These announcements will further strengthen India's previous efforts in this direction. One of the remarkable milestones in India's climate action came in 2015 when, under the Paris Agreement of 2015 India submitted its first Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which included reduction in the emissions intensity of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 level and contained eight goals to combat climate change.   In 2022, India submitted its updated NDC which also included 'LiFE'— 'Lifestyle for Environment', as one of the key aspects of combating climate change. In 2021 at UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) held at Glasgow, Scotland, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi presented the 'Panchamrit', five nectar elements, to deal with the challenge of climate change in order to achieve the green economy. And to realize the goals set by India in 'Panchamrit' the interim budget of the country further strengthens the momentum of achieving green transition by providing necessary budgetary allocations.  The 'Panchamrit' comprises five elements, which are as follows:

  • India will take its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
  • India will meet 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.
  • India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now till 2030.
  • By 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by more than 45 per cent.
  • By the year 2070, India will achieve the target of net zero.  

India's LiFE, i.e., Lifestyle for Environment, is a mass movement to promote mindful and deliberate utilization of resources; it aims to promote a lifestyle that is synchronous with nature. All these efforts pace the way for a new dawn of transition from brown economy to green economy.

Why Does Climate Action Become Important?

Climate change has impacted the globe so much that since the 1980s each decade has registered higher temperatures than the previous ones. One of the main reasons for climate change has been economic development which has focussed on increasing industrial output, unrestricted consumption of natural resources, generation of large amounts of waste and pollutants. So, the idea that traditional economic models need to be revisited becomes even more pertinent in 2024 in order to address climate change, biodiversity losses, water scarcity, etc. Also, creating new wealth through a "brown economy" model has not substantially addressed social marginalization and resource depletion, and we are still far from delivering to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainability has been and is still a vital long-term goal, but we must work on greening the economy to get us there (UNEP, 2011). The need for an alternative vision for economic growth and development with less emission and more jobs which will help us in achieving SDGs has become the centre of discussion on global platforms.

What is Green Economy?

The term "green economy" has gained prominence in the last few decades. The term green economy was coined in 1989 in a report titled, "Blueprint for a Green Economy", (Pearce, Markandya and Barbier, 1989) and in simplest terms it is defined as an economy which is resource efficient, socially inclusive, and produces a low carbon footprint (UNEP, 2022).  In the green economy, both the public and private sector drive employment and income growth by investing into those economic activities which results in low carbon emission and pollution, enhancement in resource and energy efficiency, and prevents the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The green economy compliments sustainable development by providing a macro-economic approach to sustainable economic growth by bringing a new focus on how we vision future investments, infrastructure, employment, and skills (UNEP, 2022).

Keeping in view the climate change scenario of the world and the required actions to combat it, the developing countries are exposed to some serious concerns compared to the developed ones. They face both financial and technical constraints in green transition but despite this many of them have been supporting green technologies for growth—India being one of the prominent examples in this.

India's Climate Actions

India is at a juncture where it needs huge resources to meet the demands of its population as well as for its economic development. However, India has been utilizing all its resources to transit its economic development into a green economy by leveraging green jobs, green energy, green industries, and green finances. It aims to realize its dream of net zero by 2050. The efforts have been fruitful and the country has already overachieved the commitments it had made at COP21—years ahead of its time with the help of growth in its power supplies from non-fossil fuels. The phenomenal increase in the solar and wind energy has been a major catalyst towards it. With technological development, policy support and active private sector the solar power plants are being constructed at a cheaper cost. The ethanol production in the country has also increased, in 2022–23, India has produced about 502 crore litres of ethanol which has helped in improving India's energy security. Also, in 2019 the government introduced subsidies on electric vehicles.

Finance is very important for green transformation and India's another major step has been the approval of the Sovereign Green Bonds framework; this will help in attracting investments in green projects. In 2022, the Government of India announced its plan to issue sovereign green bonds to mobilize resources for green infrastructure. And on January 25, 2023 the first tranche of sovereign green bonds worth INR 80 billion were issued.  

The 2024's interim budget also highlights many bold steps towards the green economy and sets a goal to provide green jobs through achieving the ambitious target of becoming a net zero emission country by 2070 through green initiatives providing incentives for solar and wind energy. The budget rolled out a variety of measures like doubling the allocation for the National Green Hydrogen Scheme to INR 600 crore along with increasing solar power allocations to

INR 8500 crore and activating a new scheme of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry which displays the commitment on sustainable development through green elements. To bolster India's commitment to achieving net zero emissions, the government is actively promoting climate-resilient initiatives such as Blue Economy 2.0 and sustainable green growth. Earlier, PM announced the 'Suryodaya Yojana' with the target of installing rooftop solar on 1 crore houses.  Pradhanmantri Suryodaya Yojana aims to provide electricity to low and middle-income individuals through solar rooftop installations, along with offering additional income for surplus electricity generation.   The scheme will also create employment opportunities for youth with technical skills in manufacturing, installation and maintenance, and entrepreneurship opportunities for supply and installation vendors.

Conclusion

There has been a wide consensus on the need for stronger government agencies, funding and strong willpower to achieve the goal of green growth. The sustainable economy is vital for the development of developing nations and it is the need of hour that governments of these countries should take certain steps. These steps may include the policies coming up with the norms that are needed for the eco-friendly economic activities, arrangement and facilitation of investment in green projects, and the acknowledgment and creating resilience towards the market failures. Through its various initiatives India has been successful in taking long strides in its journey towards the target of net zero without compromising its economic development in less than a decade. The initiatives are not only specific but also bring all the stakeholders together in its efforts. The steps will have a long-lasting impact and fast growth of the country coupled with the green initiatives will open a new sky for the nation. #

Details available at https://pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1847812#:~:text=The%202015%20NDC%20comprised%20eight,of%202.5%20to%203%20billion

 

     National Statement by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at COP26 Summit in Glasgow (mea.gov.in)

 

     Press Information Bureau (pib.gov.in)

 

     India's clean energy transition is rapidly underway, benefiting the entire world – Analysis - IEA

 

     Press Information Bureau (pib.gov.in)

 

     India incorporates green bonds into its climate finance strategy (worldbank.org)

 

     pib.gov.in/PressReleaseIframePage.aspx?PRID=1998634

 

   
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Nominations open for CSP Today India awards 2013


The inaugural CSP Today India awards ceremony takes place on March 12, and CSP developers, EPCs, suppliers and technology providers can now be nominated.

CSP has made tremendous progress since the announcement of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in 2010. With Phase I projects now drawing closer to completion, the first milestone in India's CSP learning curve is drawing closer. CSP Today has chosen the next CSP Today India conference (12-13 March, New Delhi) as the time for the industry to reflect upon its progress and celebrate its first achievements.

At the awards ceremony, industry leaders will be recognized for their achievements in one of 4 categories: CSP India Developer Award, CSP India Engineering Performance Award, CSP India Technology and Supplier Award, and the prestigious CSP India Personality of the Year.

Matt Carr, Global Events Director at CSP Today, said at the opening of nominations that CSP Today are excited to launch these esteemed awards, which will enhance the reputation of their recipients. I am particularly excited to launch the CSP India Personality of the Year award, a distinguished honor for the industry figure deemed worthy by their peers."

All eyes will be on the CSP Today India 2013 Awards when nomination entry closes on March 4 and the finalists are announced on March 11. The awards are open to all industry stakeholders to nominate until March 4 at
http://www.csptoday.com/india/awards-index.php or by e-mail to awards@csptoday.com

Contact:
Matt Carr
+44 (0) 20 7375 7248
matt@csptoday.com