India’s GDP to grow 12% in FY’22 and Climate Change?

India’s economy looked ready to leave a sharp downturn behind in the new year, as business and consumer activity showed more signs of gathering momentum in 2021. Activity in India’s dominant services and manufacturing sector expanded for a fourth straight month in January, with the pace of new work and business activity both quickening from a month ago.

The latest World Economic Outlook of IMF estimates India’s GDP to contract by 8 per cent during the current fiscal. For the next fiscal, starting from April 1, GDP growth projection is at 11.5 per cent, 2.7 per cent higher than the projection made in October. Business activity in India was almost back to pre-pandemic levels as the Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) touched 99.3 for the week ended February 21.

Climate Change and Sustainable Development:

2021 is a make-or-break year for people and the planet. The international community needs to orchestrate a sustainable recovery from the pandemic while delivering more ambitious commitments to protect nature and ensure a climate safe future.

India is among the countries most threatened by climate change. It’s in their interest to listen to climate activists and press for global action. As a leader among emerging markets, India should go with a serious proposal likely to move the needle and also fair to the industrialising world.

Industrialised countries such as the US are concerned that developing countries will free-ride and keep pumping out emissions. Indians, however, believe there’s profound inequity in asking India, which has a per capita emission of 1.8 tons of CO2 in 2017, to bear the same burden as the US (16 tons per person), or Saudi Arabia (19 tons).

India should not build many more dirty coal plants as it grows, and US and Europe should close down the plants it already has.

So how do we balance these concerns while saving the one world we live in?

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, is aiming to build a Global Coalition for Carbon Neutrality this year.

The US and India collaborate on natural gas, renewable energy, nuclear energy, clean coal technologies, smart grids, and unconventional and clean energy sources research for the benefit of our people now and in the future, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference last month in February.

The US-India Strategic Energy Partnership has been crafted to ringfence the relationship against changes in policies around hydrocarbons, with its strong emphasis on renewable energy technology sharing and gas and power grid development. In the US, the Democrats’ cards are yet to be laid on the table to give the world a sense of timelines and precise policy measures, but it can be said with a degree of confidence that the US would re-join the Paris Accord and step up its involvement in the International Solar Alliance, which is headed up by India.

Shifting supply chains to India could provide a degree of security, and the Modi government’s Production Linked Incentives (PLIs) to attract international battery manufacturers might play a pivotal role for the US.

India will play a major role in the export of renewable equipment to the US and other signatories to the climate deal, while it simultaneously cuts back on its annual $2.2 billion import bill for Chinese panels to service its domestic needs. Backing these production schemes will involve green financing, and credit must be made available at low interest rates.

The effort founded called Breakthrough Energy, which started with a venture fund to invest in promising clean energy companies, has expanded to a network of philanthropic programs, investment funds, and advocacy efforts to accelerate energy innovation at every step.

With an estimated USD 12 trillion earmarked globally to support the recovery, long-term decarbonization and resilience plans can play a key role in ensuring spending and investments are aligned with a sustainable recovery and the Paris Agreement. A recent study says that the world could start to bring the 1.5 degrees goal within reach if governments used only 10% of the planned stimulus to support climate-friendly projects.

Achieving sustainable recovery and securing a climate safe future is possible. Long-term decarbonization and resilience plans provide a powerful tool to get us on the right path.

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