Vaishali Nigam Sinha
10 August 2023
Source : Pixabay
It is the private sector that helps implement and advance climate action strategies.
Earth’s temperature has risen by more than 1°C in the last century, a direct consequence of increased greenhouse gas emissions. There are fluctuations in global temperatures. We see melting ice caps, rising sea levels, air pollution, natural disasters, changes in agriculture as well as livestock farming, and soil erosion leading to desertification.
In 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that, with temperatures rising fast, humanity will experience global warming a decade earlier than anticipated. The IPCC added that a sustained reduction in carbon emissions was necessary because the global speed of implementing nationally determined contributions (NDC) was insufficient. The World Health Organization announced that a ‘healthy recovery’ was necessary, and this was possible only in a carbon-free economy.
2009 was a breakthrough year for climate action. COP15 held in Copenhagen, saw states come together to cap global temperatures and provide funds to developing countries. Called the Copenhagen Accord, a pledged amount of $100 billion was to be raised and distributed each year. (Only a tenth of the $100 billion pledge—about $10 billion—was received.) In 2015, the Paris Agreement, signed by 196 countries, set the stage for ‘net-zero’. The Agreement included limiting carbon emissions to the point where they could be offset. Setting a target of 1.5°C, this historic agreement was aimed at mitigation efforts and climate justice.
In 2021, at COP26 in Glasgow, India announced that it would achieve net-zero by 2070. In 2023, we are still the world’s third largest emitter of carbon. According to a McKinsey Sustainability report, India can create 287 gigatons of carbon space for the world. This amounts to almost half of the global carbon budget needed to limit warming to 1.5°C.
Last year, at the COP27 summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, a ‘Loss and Damage Fund’ was created to support countries historically impacted by climate change. The fund received more than $230 million in pledges. Further discussions on financial commitments and connecting with COP28’s call for ‘Race to Resilience’ will take place at the Dubai Summit later this year.
Regulators the world over are putting together progressive policies to reduce the amount of carbon in the air. India, too, is working to make renewable energy more available. The government has enacted policies that include carbon taxation on transportation fuels. But it is the private sector that helps implement and advance climate action strategies. By adopting Sustainable Development Goals and mainstreaming ESG practices across functions, corporations help systems pivot towards net-zero economies.
ReNew works consistently to not just create renewable energy, but also lead decarbonisation efforts in India and around the world.
In 2022, ReNew announced that it’d achieve net-zero by 2040. In addition to our utility scale solar and wind power plants across sites, we have commissioned a total of 99 MW of hydropower projects. With an RTC portfolio of ~1.70 GW, ReNew’s projects support businesses with round-the-clock power supply.
Further, ReNew is investing in green hydrogen as a pathway to becoming carbon-neutral. We have also delved into power transmission through multiple inter-state transmission system projects underway that provide comprehensive solutions to convert to renewable energy.
Our solutions for corporate businesses include power purchase agreements (PPAs) that enable companies to switch to renewable energy seamlessly. ReNew has helped generate around 2 GW of clean energy, mitigating over 4 MT of carbon emissions. Market adoption is made easy by our storage solutions, which include the largest battery storage project in all of South Asia, and the successful management of over 1,000 MW of clean energy in the open market gives us the expertise to handle other portfolios.
So, why the hurry? While decarbonization efforts are initiated, the speed at which implementation is made isn’t fast enough. The situation is urgent. The last time global temperatures increased; the mean sea level was much lower than it is today—the sight of entire cities sinking underwater isn’t that far away.
Read more how ReNew is helping the corporates in their decarbonization journey.