ICC National Sustainability Symposium Highlights India’s Ambitious Clean Energy Transition and the Critical Role of Sustainable Finance

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New Delhi 06th November 2023: The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on Friday announced the successful conclusion of its National Sustainability Symposium, an event that placed a spotlight on the crucial issue of sustainable finance for clean energy transition. This symposium brought together key industry players, government officials, and experts to discuss India’s strides toward achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2037, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the COP26 climate summit.

Naresh Tyagi, Chief Sustainability Officer of the Aditya Birla Group, noted, “In our pursuit of sustainable development, India has set a remarkable target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2037, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the COP26 climate summit. This ambitious endeavor necessitates substantial financial support, with an estimated requirement of around $1 trillion over the next decade. India has made commendable strides in renewable energy, but transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy is a monumental task. Sustainable finance, a collaboration involving government, business, and citizens, is the cornerstone of this transformation. Private sector investment is crucial to expedite climate solutions, and cooperation among all stakeholders is essential. The prospects for sustainable finance in India are promising, with government initiatives, Reserve Bank guidelines, and increasing demand for sustainability. As we move forward, active engagement from both the public and private sectors will be the key to success in achieving our sustainability goals.”

The Symposium commenced by recognizing India’s growing role in global climate transition. India has set an ambitious goal, spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to attain net-zero carbon emissions by 2037. To achieve this audacious target, an estimated $1 trillion USD will be required over the next decade. The Symposium celebrated India’s impressive advancements in renewable energy, showcasing a capacity increase of nearly 250% from 2014 to 2021, cementing India’s position as the world’s fourth-largest renewable energy producer.

The event emphasized the significant energy transition currently unfolding in India, with a strong focus on shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. This transition, however, brings its own set of challenges, including the need for affordable financing, effective institutions, and ensuring an equitable transition. The advantages of embracing clean energy are far-reaching, encompassing enhanced energy security, reduced import dependency, and increased rural productivity.

Central to the Symposium’s discussions was the pivotal role of sustainable finance, a collaborative effort involving the government, businesses, and citizens. India’s ambitious sustainability goals require significant financing, estimated at $10.1 trillion USD by 2037. Sustainable finance is regarded as a catalyst for expediting climate challenges and solutions, evident in the fivefold surge in green investments in India, largely driven by policies in renewable energy and transportation.

Sumit Sharma, Program Officer at the United Nations Environment Program, emphasized the interconnected nature of global challenges, underscoring that actions in one area often have positive effects on others. Neglecting one aspect of these challenges can have adverse consequences for all. Sharma stressed the urgency of addressing climate change and the pivotal role of a net-zero strategy.

India’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070 was a significant highlight, with some states even setting more ambitious targets. The event also addressed the persistent issue of air pollution, the importance of managing plastics, and the need for innovative solutions.

Nikhil Kanodia, Chairman of the Northern Region at ICC, commended India’s impressive progress in energy availability and affordability, highlighting the diversification of energy sources and the stability of petrol prices. The Symposium showcased promising developments in biofuels and green hydrogen, signifying India’s journey towards energy sustainability.

The Symposium also spotlighted the collaboration between the Asian Development Bank and the Ministry of State Development and Entrepreneurship, which supports India’s energy transition, particularly in coal-dependent regions. The event underlined the importance of prudent financial management for green hydrogen production capacity.

The prospects for sustainable finance in India appear promising, with the Reserve Bank of India issuing guidelines to encourage green deposits and various initiatives promoting energy efficiency, green transportation, climate change adaptation, sustainable water and waste management, green construction, and biodiversity preservation.

The event concluded by stressing the role of both the government and the private sector in promoting sustainable finance. The government was encouraged to consider tax incentives and policy support, while the private sector was urged to adopt internal carbon pricing.

ICC’s call for integrated advocacy and support for sustainable finance resonates beyond the Symposium, setting the stage for a sustainable future. The event welcomed all participants to join this vital journey.

*About the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC)*

The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is a distinguished industry association in India, advocating for the interests of businesses and industries across diverse sectors. ICC is dedicated to promoting economic growth, sustainable development, and the well-being of the Indian business community.