Ahead of COP 26, Industry leaders discuss the urgency to drive decarbonization agenda

New Delhi, August 5: Indian CEOs discussed and sharedthe practitioners’ perspective and urgency to drive the decarbonization agenda during a roundtable webinar organised for Indian industry by TERI on Wednesday.

“India has showcased leadership in growth of renewables; however, power sector reforms are crucial for realizing mitigation targets set by country. A good push has come from the Indian government through the International Solar Alliance, but transition to decarbonized fuels for example, green hydrogen, biofuels, and bio-resources would be crucial for India’s energy needs. This will be a game changer and a huge amount of capital allocation is needed for this,” said Mr. R Mukundan, Managing Director, Tata Chemicals Ltd.

 “By 2030 we need 2.6 trillion dollars. My own estimate broadly is that by 2040 we need more than 6.5 trillion dollars to transform this entire journey and a lot of commitment needs to come from both the public and private sector,” Mr. Mukundan added.

“Advocacy would play a key role and also we need to think about what can be done in a collaborative way for pushing more energy transition, e-mobility, and carbon capture, utilization and storage,” said Mr. Mahendra Singhi, MD & CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Ltd.

Mr. Nitin Prasad, CEO, Shell India, stressed the urgency and a need of timelinesfor decarbonization. There is a number we need to get to for net zero and the only question is how fast do we get there.”

Mr. Ravi Purshottam, Country Head of Danfoss Group emphasized on innovation and finance for industry and importance of light house projects that could showcase the pathways to decarbonize to different industrial sub-sectors.

Mr. Amit Sharma, MD of Tata Consulting Engineers reiterated that importance of material circularity to be integral part of industrial roadmap especially for cement, steel, automotative to chemicals. Rethink, Rewire and Realign processes to be used to connect the old and the new by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI technologies), digital platforms and Industry 4.0 approaches for designing low carbon pathways.

Deliveringthe special remarks, Rupa Dutta, Senior Economic Adviser, Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt of India, emphasized the role of efficient technologies, renewable energy, and material circularity for green and inclusive manufacturing as the government has launched Production-linked Incentive Schemefor 13 key sectors.

Mr. Venu Nuguri, India Managing Director and Region Head, South Asia, Hitachi ABB Power Gridsemphasized that “For achieving GoI’s ambitious target of producing 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, the pace of efforts should be multiplied by 4 to 5 times. Collaboration and co-creation is the need of the hour and pivotal for India to become Net Zero by 2050.” He added that “Hitachi ABB Power Grids wants to be Carbon Neutral in its operations by 2030.”

Mr. Gerd Deusser, Executive Vice President and Head – Energy, Siemens Ltd reiterated that “We need to move from words to action now, and in context to India –hydrogen roadmap is one such fantastic beginning.In India, we don’t have a value for CO2. Similarly like PAT scheme – we need stimulus from the demand side (policy incentives) such that role of technology providers like Siemens becomes imminent in the economic wide transition.”

Mr. Vikram Gulati, Country Head & Senior Vice-President (External Affairs, Public Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility & Corporate Governance), Toyota India highlighted that “In 2015, Toyota declaredthat by 2050, Toyota will have zero carbon emissions in the vehicle manufacturing, the vehicles being sold and the lifecycle of these vehicles. For electrification of vehicles, two and three wheelers will be the first while the challenge remains with commercial vehicles, interstate buses and passenger vehicles. Key factors to steepen the curve for electric vehicle adoption would be affordability linked to mass scale manufacturing in India. To this effect, Toyota believes in mass production and localization. For India carbon emissions from industry and transport shall be in the rise,rapid decarbonization of power generation in India shall significantly bring down the well-to-wheel carbon emissions of the vehicles”. He observed that “depending on distance travelled and consumer use, hybrid, plug-in, BEVs and hydrogen shall co-exist in the future mobility space”

In her remarks, Dr Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI, said that the industry charter has emerged as a platform for leadership and for driving action to decarboniseindustry sectors in a coordinated and integrated manner.“I personally feel that we are left with no alternative than to move towards near zero emissions as we are already witnessing extremes of temperature, precipitation, and even diseases to some extent, at the global level,” she said.

The industry panel discussion with Indian CEOs was moderated by Mr. RR Rashmi, Distinguished Fellow, TERI, with panelistsincluding CEOs from TATA Consulting Engineers, Hitachi ABB Power Grids, Siemens, Toyota Kirloskar Motors, L&T Howden among many others. The global perspective was provided by senior representatives of Energy Transitions Commission,We Mean Business Coalition and Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

The panelists discussed the role of strong leadership and robust targets at the government and industry levels, decoupling energy demand with GDP, building capacities for Indian industry and aligning the manufacturing goals with Make in India vision. They highlighted the importance of deployment of emerging technologies, innovation and support to MSMEs for driving the industry transitions. They also stressed on structural reforms in the power sector and framework of fossil fuel subsidies. Climate finance and lighthouse projectswould be pivotal ahead of G20 and COP 26 deliberations.

TERI is a secretariat to Industry Charter for Near Zero Emissions Ambition by 2050.

About TERI

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is an independent, multi-dimensional organisation, with capabilities in research, policy, consultancy and implementation. It has pioneered conversations and action in the energy, environment, climate change, and sustainability space for over four decades.

The institute’s research and research-based solutions have had a transformative impact on industry and communities. Headquartered in New Delhi, it has regional centres and campuses in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Mumbai, Panaji, and Nainital, supported by a multidisciplinary team of scientists, sociologists, economists and engineers, and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

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