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 Climate Change

Decarbonisation
Published on: Sept. 1, 2021, 12:35 p.m.
A window of opportunity
  • If the country doesn’t take any action to mitigate the effects of climate change, India’s economy can lose trillions of dollars

By Business India Editorial

Crises present one with opportunities, especially for those who act smart and wisely.  If India plays its card right, experts say that the climate change crisis can be turned into an economic gain.

India could gain Rs810 lakh crore in economic value in the next 59 years by reducing the rising global temperatures and realising its potential to export decarbonisation, a recent Deloitte Economics Institute report says.

“As India aspires to be a $5 trillion economy, it is not just foreign and domestic investments that will be key in driving growth, we must also take this opportunity to align our ambitions with climate choices,” the report says. 

The report underlines the importance of the country minimising its energy dependence on fossil fuels in order to economise decarbonisation benefits.

Decarbonisation is the process of minimising carbon intensity by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels.

India can gain a $4 trillion gain in economic output by 2070, and a GDP growth of 8.5 per cent if the country works towards leveraging its full potential towards decarbonisation, the report says.

India has been taking some steps in the right direction. The country’s largest private firm, Reliance Industries, has joined hands with US-based Chart Industries to commercialise hydrogen and push its production. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already announced National Hydrogen Energy Mission to cut carbon emission.

The cost of inaction

However, the Deloitte report warns that if the country doesn’t take any action to mitigate the effects of climate change, India’s economy can lose trillions of dollars in the coming decades.

Inaction on climate change can reduce the country’s economic potential by 5.5 per cent per year on average over the next 50 years.

“If India does not move to low-emission fuels and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, it could lose around $35 trillion across various sectors by 2070,” it says. The total damage could be 12.7 per cent of India’s GDP.

“We have a narrow window of time – the next 10 years – to make the decisions needed to alter the trajectory of climate change,” says Atul Dhawan, chairperson, Deloitte India. “No one is immune to the impact of climate change, but for India, this is a window of opportunity to lead the way and show how climate action is not a narrative of cost but one of sustainable economic growth,” he adds.


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