Roundtable Discussions: Low carbon transition - Voluntary actions by Indian corporates
On Industry Day of COP26 Indian CEOs demonstrate that business actions today lend predictability to the policy making for long term
Watch recorded event below -
On 09 November 2021 | 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (IST)
Themed by the COP 26 Presidency as Science & Innovation and Industry, the day of 9th November 2021 marked an opportune moment for CEOs to commit to make their companies exemplars of low or zero carbon technology solutions within their sectors, and gradually engage more heavy industry sectors. On this occasion, TERI organized a roundtable discussion at the COP26 Business Pavilion for Climate Leadership, hosted by the We Mean Business Coalition. At the roundtable Indian climate negotiators, COP26 Business Leaders and CEOs echo that business actions today lend predictability to the policy making process.
The various global announcements on the Science & Innovation and Industry Day at COP26 enunciated that transformation is accelerating across carbon intensive industries. Likewise the TERI roundtable deliberated that if India is to remain globally competitive and achieve sustainable growth, within the constraints of the environment, future industrial strategy should prioritise greater resource efficiency in the heavy industry sectors. While sharing snippets from the COP26 India delegation negotiators' room, Mr Abhay Bakre, Director General of Bureau of Energy Efficiency emphasized that "Sectoral Roadmaps are very important in achieving India's net-zero commitment. Steel and Cement sectors have been part of our action plan."Emphasising the role that TERI can play, Mr. Mahendra Singhi, MD & CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd; Co-Chair, TERI CBS Executive Committee and COP26 Business Leader remarked that "As industry leaders, we should focus on sharing our success stories with other companies, government, and for the citizens. Only through this will we be able to replicate success. The time has arrived to develop technical hubs along with research institute like TERI for industrial sub-sectors showcase lighthouse projects. Large companies are ready for aid in transition to their supply base which can be beneficial to SMEs."
The discussions pointed out that energy efficiency, electrification and a switch towards decarbonised fuels constitute the three main pillars of India's decarbonisation strategy, with the need for a transformative move towards renewable electricity, hydrogen and bioenergy as the key fuels that would likely shift the pathway towards a net-zero emissions future. Reflecting the scenario sketch of India to transform to a Net Zero Emissions Energy System, Mr. Nitin Prasad, Chairman, Shell Group of Companies, India reiterated that "Two-third the of Indian infrastructure is yet to be built – we have a chance to build sustainably from the ground-up, develop new capabilities and act as a pathfinder for many other developing countries. As Indian industry – this is a great opportunity to show what is possible, we are one of the largest developing countries and there are several others for whom we can set the example". Mr. Rajiv Mishra, Managing Director, Apraava Energy; Member, TERI CBS Executive Committee said, "Energy storage will be a key element for India's journey to net-zero emissions. Indian government and Indian Industry have shown that they have a common vision and can work in-tandem- to create magic."
Mr. Sunil Duggal, Group Chief Executive Officer, Vedanta Ltd added that "Several major organizations in India have already committed to decarbonisation targets, and commitments at COP by Indian Prime Minister will provide a further impetus. The opportunity of collaboration with other market players is very important to leverage. Along with developing infrastructure, we need to communicate the benefits of transitioning to clean technology to everyone."Mr. Anil B Jain, Managing Director, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd drew attention to the fact that "Huge amount of methane emissions come from the standing water in the rice fields. Jain Irrigation realized this and reduced the emissions by 60% through sub soil irrigation". Highlighting the importance of decarbonization in the agricultural sector, Mr. Alex Bell, Co-founder and CEO, Agoro Carbon Alliance, Yara International said "Agriculture can play such a special in India's decarbonization pathway- both at a country level, regional levels. Not only in terms of infrastructure, but also making a business opportunity for individual farmers and farming community".
Putting in context to India's announcement at the inaugural World Leaders Summit of COP 26 Ambassador Manjeev Puri, Distinguished Fellow, TERI remarked, "It now gives the Government of India the opportunity the feel and pulse that Indian industry is ready to big leap forward. India is on its way of hopefully becoming the third largest economy in the world. And this core group of 50 great Indian companies which you need to make 500 and 5000 within India and demonstrate climate leadership."Dr. Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI in conclusion remarked that "We are going to be the ones, this very group present at COP26 along with support from Indian Inc. and government who will demonstrate to the developing and developed world that we can achieve net-zero transition."
TERI's research findings and recommendations with several global and national partners reveal that there are several promising technology solutions which could support deeper decarbonisation of the heavy industries, beyond that of improving energy efficiency or reducing demand. These include the option of ‘fuel switching' away from fossil fuels to low or zero carbon fuels, deploying carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology and the use of biomass as a feedstock in the manufacture of petrochemical products. Many of these technologies are yet to be proven commercially at scale and will require sustained support from government and industry to achieve significant levels of deployment. The roundtable on the COP26 Industry and Science & Innovation Day reiterated the need for global R&D collaborations and the significance of the role that industry can play.