Making The Decade Count: World Sustainable Development Summit to Focus On 2030 Goals

A major focus at WSDS 2020 will be on air pollution. Stakeholders will discuss a range of mitigation strategies including developing first-of-its-kind emission inventory database for India

January 23, 2020. By News Bureau


The 19th edition of The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI) flagship event, the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS), will be held from January 29-31, 2020, at the India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi. WSDS is one of the largest international events dedicated to accelerating the pursuit of sustainable development, and this year, it will address the theme, ‘Towards 2030 Goals: Making the Decade Count’.

The summit will be inaugurated by Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), at 9 A.M. on January 29, 2020, and will be followed by thematic tracks around the seven broad areas — water, energy, e-mobility, industry transition, air pollution, blue economy and green finance. The event will also be graced by Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of Steel, Petroleum & Natural Gas; and R.K. Singh, Hon'ble Minister of State (IC) for Power, New & Renewable Energy.

Others prominent speakers include Lord Adair Turner, Chair, Energy Transitions Commission (ETC); Brigitte Collet, French Ambassador for Climate; Nigel Topping, High Level Champion for Climate Action, COP26; Henriette Faergemann, Environment, Climate and Energy Counsellor, European Union Delegation to India; Jake Schmidt, Managing Director, International Program, NRDC; Dr. Måns Nilsson, Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute; Dr. Adonai Herrera-Martínez, Director, Environmental Funds, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; John Roome, Senior Director-Climate Change, World Bank; Atul Bagai, Head of Country Office (India), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); and Shoko Noda, India Resident Representative, UNDP, among many others.

Since its inception in 2001, WSDS has been a significant platform for showcasing India’s plans, policies, priorities and actions by identifying the most topical issues, of environment and sustainability. The Summit aims to create action frameworks for achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Set in 2015, the SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all and intended to be achieved by 2030.

The winner of the Sustainable Development Leadership Award in recognition of significant contribution towards the cause of sustainable development will also be announced at the Summit. Past winners include Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, (2019); Dr José Manuel Durão Barroso, Former President of  European Commission &  Former Prime Minister of Portugal (2015); Felipe Calderón Hinojosa President of Mexico (2012); Ban-ki-Moon, Secretary- General,  United Nations (2009); among many other dignitaries from across the world.

A major focus at WSDS 2020 will be on air pollution. Stakeholders will discuss a range of mitigation strategies including developing first-of-its-kind emission inventory database for India. To demonstrate viable approaches for cities to address air pollution as envisaged by the National Clean Air Programme, TERI will announce a Clean Air Programme in some of the most polluted Indian cities.

The Corporate Conclave at the event will delve deeper into e-mobility, and the sessions will focus on exploring the options available towards cleaner future and enabling environment to encourage EV penetration. Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, will deliver the keynote address. Prominent industry representatives from the e-mobility ecosystem will put forth their views on creating an enabling environment for electric vehicles. 

The event will also mark the release of a plethora of reports and policy briefs, including the report on Towards a Low Carbon Steel Sector in India that looks into the challenges of decarbonisation of steel. The report will put forth a comprehensive package of measures that could substantially reduce environmental impacts and put India on the path to being the first country to industrialise without relying on high carbon steel.

A thematic session on EU Excellence in India – The Green Business Opportunity will be inaugurated by H.E. Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India. A group of leading CEOs from EU and India are expected to sign a green pledge to set climate and sustainability targets across business operations and value chains.

On January 30 and 31, 2020, the summit will include plenary sessions on the following themes: 

1. Beyond Connections: Sustaining Universal Energy Access in India

2. Success at COP 26?

3. Strengthening National Clean Air Programme for Breathable Air

4. Financing Innovations for Accelerating Sustainability

5. Achieving the Common Target: Opportunities & Challenges for Universal and Equitable Access to Safe Drinking Water

6. Leadership Coalition on Energy and Industry Transition

7. Transformative Actions to Revive Green Climate Finance 

8. Blue Economy for Agenda 2030: Aligning Economic Development for Sustainability of Oceans

9. Fast-tracking the 2030 Agenda 

10. Future of Sustainability

Additionally, thematic tracks will focus around renewable energy, environment and public health, forestry, industry, energy efficiency, green entrepreneurship, circular economy, sustainable consumption, mitigation, and climate change.

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