The government has identified 600-odd power guzzling industries such as fertilizers, steel, cement and paper for which standards will be laid down for achieving energy efficiency. If these industries fail to adhere to the prescribed norms, they will be penalized, said Mr. B K Chaturvedi, Member (Energy), Planning Commission, while addressing the curtain raiser conference on ‘States and Climate Change’ of the ‘India Climate Policy and Business Conclave 2013’ beginning today. FICCI in association with the Ministry of Environment & Forest, Government of India, the World Bank and German Environment Ministry is organizing the annual conference.
As part of the drive to achieve energy efficiency in the 13th Plan period (2017-22), the government will focus on setting up super critical and ultra critical power plants. A new thrust will also be given to increasing energy efficiency of consumer durables.
However, Mr. Chaturvedi said, it is imperative for the states and cities to come on board to improve energy efficiency and implement the laws set out in the statutes. India, at present, is witnessing 30% urbanization which is set to reach 50% by 2040. Hence, planned transportation is needed, particularly, for intermediate cities and ways need to be devised for making buildings in states and cities energy efficient.
Mr. Chaturvedi stated that the government is looking to improve the energy mix where a sharper focus would be on renewables to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. The Planning Commission has set up a Task Force on Solar Energy. FICCI is also a part of the Task Force, which met a week ago to chart out priorities to be focused on to give impetus to solar manufacturing and power generation.
Mr. Onno Ruhl, Country Director, The World Bank, said that India needs bigger and cheaper solutions to deal with issues of energy efficiency, increasing agricultural production and water efficiency. It is critical to focus on planned development of states and cities because 10 million people are moving to cities every year in India and creating intermediate cities. Hence, along with the government, private sector needs to find smart solutions on a large scale to make the growth process smooth for India.
Dr. Cord Meier-Klodt, Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) and Head, Department for Economic and Global Affairs, Germany Embassy, said that Germany would like to partner with India in the field of energy both in production and efficient management of energy. As in Germany, India is also looking at increasing energy efficiency and massive expansion of renewables for generating energy, hence both can have a fruitful partnership. However, he mentioned every country requires a different energy mix based on its needs. Germany is set to have a new government soon after the elections on Sunday, but Dr. Meier-Klodt assured that irrespective of which government comes into power, Germany will continue with its partnership with India.
Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, said, “The Government recognizes that environmental sustainability cannot be ignored, that we need a growth process that is consistent with protecting our environment. As cities become growth centres and there is increasing urbanization within a state’s boundaries, it precipitates a greater pressure on environment and natural resources. Urban development comes with greater energy demand, greater water stress, and loss of forest cover. Therefore, these centres of development have an enormous scope to reign in the impacts of climate change with appropriate programmes and initiatives.”
The Chief Secretary of Himachal Pradesh, Mr. Sudripta Roy, pointed out the climate action plan of the state and how it is being given a top priority in the state government’s agenda.
The conference focused on the state action plans, the strategies devised at the state level and role of business and industry in engaging at the state level and the role of private sector to successfully implement these action plans.
Initiatives that were planned and implemented in some Indian cities and states, by government as well as the private sector came in for close attention. Climate change has impact on basic urban services and the quality of life in cities. Cities and states can be places of innovation and efficiency, when properly planned, capacitated and managed through appropriate governance structures, as they have the potential to influence the causes of climate change and the solutions to advance climate protection.
The event focused on global initiatives supporting leaders and practitioners in addressing the impact of climate change. Globally efforts have been galvanized by national governments, multilateral agencies, local governments and other stakeholders to focus on mitigation and adaptation in cities and states through larger multi-city programmes as well as decentralized city level initiatives to build a global momentum towards addressing climate change. Good governance, accountability, leadership and real-world initiatives for local governments, communities and citizens are crucial for tackling the global threat of climate change.
Experts also spoke on private sector interventions in different areas such as energy efficiency in municipal service areas and urban waste management, and the role that businesses can play going forward in making public private partnerships effective with appropriate policy linkages.
In the next two days, the conclave will focus on issues such as Global Climate Change Negotiations: Current State of Play; Climate Finance; Domestic Finance and Fiscal Initiatives; Domestic Market Mechanisms & Future of Carbon Markets; Climate Change Adaptation and Role of Business and Business Perspectives on Climate Change and Emerging Global Regime.