India’s transition to green economy presents US$1 trillion opportunity

As consensus emerges on the urgency and magnitude of the transformation needed to decarbonize the global economy, India’s role and contributions will be critical if the world is to achieve current targets.

The World Economic Forum has released on November 3 a new report, The Mission 2070: A Green New Deal for a Net-Zero India, outlining how India’s path to decarbonization will have an estimated economic impact of over US$1 trillion by 2030 and around US$15 trillion by 2070.

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Prime Minister Modi has committed India to an ambitious five-part Panchamrit pledge. India’s five commitments are a critical foundation of the global pathway to achieve the ambitious 1.5-degree Celsius global warming target.

“How India continues to deliver growth and energy security to its citizens while ensuring the transition to a net-zero and green economy will define our collective success in the global fight against climate change,” said Sriram Gutta, Deputy Head, India and South Asia, World Economic Forum. “We are calling on the government, businesses and civil society to work with us to accelerate climate action and ensure a future that is good for both people and the planet.”

The report highlights five sectoral pillars and four cross-sectoral enablers for India to maximize the opportunities presented by a Green New Deal, with the potential to create more than 50 million net new jobs and over US$15 trillion in economic value by 2070.

The five pillars – energy, mobility, industry, infrastructure and cities, and agriculture – contribute to over 90% of India’s greenhouse gas emissions. According to the report, India will need to address these pillars, alongside four cross-sectoral enablers, as part of its green transition.

These enablers are: an accelerated approach to green technology innovation, an overarching framework to catalyse green finance, an integrated approach to carbon, capture, utilization and storage, and a plan for climate adaptation. The five pillars and four enablers are dependent on India’s continued economic growth, driven by technological development, financial innovation and strong political leadership.

“India needs to action two transformations: an economic transformation to drive prosperity and a green transformation to drive sustainability. Our research indicates that the two need not be in conflict. In fact, India’s green transition might be the most viable way to fuel its economic aspirations,” said Viswanathan Rajendran, Partner, Kearney India.

A Green New Deal for India will need all stakeholders – government, the private sector, investors and civil society – to step forward and catalyze the next green revolution. India has an opportunity to take bold action to achieve strong, equitable and shared growth, and avert the worst impacts of a changing climate.

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