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Greening India for a Sustainable Tomorrow

A sustainable future for India carries an impact for the subcontinent and the entire world.

At GGGI – the Global Green Growth Institute – our attention is captured by the impressive economic performance of India and the progress of its more than 1.32 billion people toward improved household incomes and welfare. At a consistent annual GDP growth rate of around 7 percent, environmental sustainability and social inclusivity of growth are our highest priority concerns.

However, given India’s tremendous growth potential, it is important to incorporate green solutions for sustaining the pace of growth. Green low carbon solutions are of paramount importance in extending India’s service delivery of clean water, sanitation and energy for all. This goes hand in hand to ensure resilience of India’s ecology, its capacity to adapt to climate change impact, and enabling marginal segments of the population to participate in the mainstream economy and the emerging opportunities.

Policy choices are important for achieving the goal of resilient ecosystems. Robust and growing economies have rapidly increasing energy demands. As the third largest energy consumer in the world, India is making substantial interventions in improving energy access through schemes such as Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojna for rural electrification and SAUBHAGYA for intensive household electrification. However, as energy consumption grows in India and access of about 50 million additional households become a reality, India’s decisions on ways of powering its economy will have far-reaching consequences on its sustainability.

Use of modern technology to reduce emissions is a game changer in the pursuit of an inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth path. The collaboration between GGGI, Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation and other stakeholders to introduce the first electric buses to India is an example of how local level innovation can yield positive results in energy efficiency. The success of this project is in line with the country’s Intended  Nationally Determined Contribution(INDC) commitments to reduce its carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.

Successfully sustained green growth projects, such as Bengaluru electric bus project, have at least two important impacts:They demonstrate success case and the value of national government championing priority sustainability issues; and more importantly, they highlight the longer-term benefits and the more resilient rates of return of green projects that can attract more investment for funding their scaling up.

GGGI understands the importance of facilitating finance for programs to harness benefits of green technology solutions in electrification of the country. We are supporting design and financial structuring of a debt fund for the off-grid energy sector. These sources can help increase the capacity of India’s electricity network. We will continue to develop innovative financing schemes to draw more actors into these effort, especially small and medium enterprises that ordinarily see the overwhelming risks to get involved.

Development institutions and governments must collaborate to achieve their shared aims. India has taken a commendable step in this direction through the International Solar Alliance. As an international organization devoted to collaboration and partnerships, at GGGI, we stand with the Indian Government. GGGI’s experience places an accent on the compounding benefits from working together to successfully and rapidly ramp up India’s electrification network and particularly to increase the presence of solar solutions in extending electrification services country-wide, including to the most marginal households.

At GGGI, we envision a healthy ecosystem of investors, lenders, and development institutions sharing the financial burden. We aim to increase the number of investors and funding committed to increasing low-carbon and climate-resilient investments. The capital itself exits. The New Climate Economy report says the Investor Platform for Climate Actions has attracted investors with a combined $125 trillion assets. This can help governments across the world not to rely solely on budgetary resources.

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