India is home to one-sixth of the world’s people and is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is the second most populous country and is on course to becoming the most populous in less than a decade. While its per-capita emissions are amongst the lowest in the world, India is the third biggest generator of emissions. Because of this sheer size and rapid growth, sustainability is a challenge and sustainability actions are key for climate change.
The successful implementation of UJALA program focussed on LED, ‘Make in India’ and SMART cities have showcased the use of Technology and backing it up with finance emerging as the key issues to address.
In spite of these challenges, India is a conscious, responsible member of the world order. The government and corporations in the country have taken exemplary action and are now counted amongst the leaders when it comes to fighting climate change. One of the significant recognition of Indian corporates’ intent and action is the invitation to Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group as co-chair of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) to be held in California during 12-14 September 2018.
The Summit aims to bring leaders and people together from around the world to “Take Ambition to the Next Level”. It hopes to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens with respect to climate change action.
As a precursor to the GCAS, Anand Mahindra issued a challenge at Davos to all companies to set science-based targets to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Science-based targets give corporates a clear roadmap for how much they need to shrink their carbon footprint in line with the Paris Agreement goals. Recently, the Science Based Targets initiative announced that more than 448 major global corporations have committed to work towards emissions reduction aligned with what climate science says is required to prevent dangerous global warming.
Of these companies, more than 120 have already had their targets approved as being in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Mahindra Sanyo Special Steel is the first Indian company as well as the first steel company to have its science-based targets approved. Additionally, 13 of Mahindra group companies have signed on SBTi.
Stepping up ambition on the climate change-related actions being taken by India, Mahindra group organized a meet to highlight efforts being taken in India inviting stakeholders across the sustainability fora. The event had a panel discussion with Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, The Energy Research Institute (TERI), Dr Arunabha Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer, Council on Energy, Environment & Water (CEEW) and moderated by Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mahindra Group.
Speaking on the challenges ahead, Dr Ghosh, said that while we are doing well we need to accelerate, like we did well with LED technology we now need to look at renewables beyond light bulbs.”