Skip to main content

Industry honchos to 'supercharge' net zero goal sans viable Govt of India policy?

By Shankar Sharma* 

The Union government seems to have more success in getting accolades in the international fora, such as the World Economic Forum (WEF), COP26, UN etc., than by our own people as far as its lofty announcements are concerned.
A news report quotes WEF as saying: "A just transition could generate annual business opportunities worth over USD 10 trillion and create 395 million jobs by 2030 worldwide. India alone could create more than 50 million net new jobs and generate over USD 15 trillion in economic value."
It also says: “WEF forms Indian CEOs' alliance to supercharge race to net-zero.”
It is fine to have such a forum. After all the industries and commerce have the maximum impact in the context of climate change. But it is also obvious that the lack of necessary initiatives by the Union government cannot allow such fora to provide the optimum results.
It is almost impossible to notice any effective policy/ action plan by the Union government in the areas of forests and biodiversity, freshwater resources, energy, agriculture, industry etc. and especially with regard to the specific objective of the containment of pollution/ contamination of air, water and soil.
Without such overarching policies at the national level, the companies/ corporate houses will all go their own way, even assuming that they all have the same noble intentions, which may not necessarily be in the correct direction and at a suitable pace.
The case of the energy sector and the ongoing power crises linked to coal supply shortage and ever increasing impacts of climate change should indicate that the associated policies/ practices of the Union government are either unsuitable or inadequate or both.
Compare such lack of suitable and farsighted policies with that of Euro-Commission's latest policy, which aims at solar panels on every rooftop:
"In its effort to quickly wean Europe off Russian gas and fossil fuels, the European Commission has presented its proposal for a dedicated solar energy strategy, which basically seeks to transform homes, shops and businesses into energy-efficient buildings and their occupants into electricity producers, promising a drastic reduction in prices."

The highlights of such a policy are:
  • A dedicated EU Solar Strategy to double solar photovoltaic capacity by 2025 and install 600GW by 2030.
  • A Solar Rooftop Initiative with a phased-in legal obligation to install solar panels on new public and commercial buildings and new residential buildings.
Many of us in India have been shouting from roof-tops for more than a decade to optimally harness the rooftop solar power potential, including shifting our IP sets to solar power. But sadly, other than the rhetoric associated with the ambitious but vague target of 500 GW of RE capacity by 2030, it is hard to notice any specific and enabling policies in the power sector.
In contrast to such a forward looking policy of the EU, our government here seems to be bent on going back on its global commitment with regard to climate change, a clear indication of which is its latest announcement to open a new big coal mine.
This development can also be described as the biggest blunder in 2022. There are also reports that the country has scores of old coal mines which are not operating due to higher mining costs. How nice it would be If these old mines were revived, even at slightly higher costs, than opening a new coal mine at enormous costs to society.
So, goes our policies; no lessons learnt from the past, nor do we look to the future.
We do not even have a national energy policy to talk about.
*Power & Climate Policy Analyst



Importance of Bangladesh for India amidst 'growing might' of China in South Asia

By Samara Ashrat*  The basic key factor behind the geopolitical importance of Bangladesh is its geographical location. The country shares land borders with Myanmar and India. Due to its geographical position, Bangladesh is a natural link between South Asia and Southeast Asia.  The country is also a vital geopolitical ally to India, in that it has the potential to facilitate greater integration between Northeast India and Mainland India. Not only that, due to its open access to the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh has become significant to both China and the US.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

'BBC film shows only tip of iceberg': Sanjiv Bhatt's daughter speaks at top US press club

By Our Representative   The United States' premier journalists' organisation, the National Press Club (NPC), has come down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for recent "attacks on journalists in India." Speaking at the screening of an episode of the BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question,” banned in India, in the club premises, NPC President Eileen O’Reilly said, “Since Modi came to power we have watched with frustration and disappointment as his regime has suppressed the rights of its citizens to a free and independent news media."

Regional political dynamics 'leading to' institutional violence in SAARC University

By Sandeep Pandey*  South Asian University is a university set up in Delhi by member countries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Maldives – which is open to students from all these countries. However, as SAARC is receiving little attention these days because of regional political dynamics, it appears as if SAU has lost significance too. Because of the hiatus in peace process between India and Pakistan, the Board of Governors of this University is dysfunctional.

Natural farming: Hamirpur leads the way to 'huge improvement' in nutrition, livelihood

By Bharat Dogra*  Santosh is a dedicated farmer who along with his wife Chunni Devi worked very hard in recent months to convert a small patch of unproductive land into a lush green, multi-layer vegetable garden. This has ensured year-round supply of organically grown vegetables to his family as well as fetched several thousand rupees in cash sales.

Over-stressed? As Naveen Patnaik turns frail, Odisha 'moves closer' to leadership crisis

By Sudhansu R Das  Not a single leader in Odisha is visible in the horizon who can replace Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. He has ruled Odisha for nearly two and half decades. His father, Biju Patnaik, had built Odisha; he was a daring pilot who saved the life of Indonesia’s Prime Minister Sjahrir and President Sukarno when the Dutch army blocked their exit.

Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Ban Ki-moon, others ask Bangladesh PM to 'protect' Yunus

Counterview Desk  A campaign has been launched to support Bangladesh-based economist, micro-finance guru and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, seeking signatures from citizens across the globe in order to “protect” his work, life and safety.

Electricity sharing opens up new window for India’s eastern neighbourhood engagement

By Sufian Asif* Today, challenges like climate change, pandemics, energy reliance, economic crisis, and many more are concerning us. No nation can overcome these obstacles without the assistance and collaboration of other nations. Most importantly, many of these problems have international repercussions. South Asia is facing much more difficulty when compared to other regions. In South Asia, we have some regional organizations, but they are ineffective.

'Vulgar display of wealth': Govt of India using G20 presidency for political, electoral gains

Counterview Desk  Seeking endorsement for a public statement on India's G20 Presidency, several people’s movements, trade unions and other civil society groups have come together to say that not only will G20 and its priorities “will worsen economic, social and climate crisis”, already, India’s presidency is being used “for vulgar display of pomp & for electoral gains.”