New Delhi [India], March 15 (ANI/Mediawire): According to the CDP India Disclosure Report 2022, corporations in India are increasingly cognisant of the dangers posed by climate change and its potential impacts on their businesses.
India is leading the charge for a more sustainable future, committing to reaching net-zero emissions by 2070. It is also investing heavily in renewable energy sources, with a goal of meeting 50 percent of its energy needs through renewable sources by 2030.
India has also pledged to reduce one billion tonnes of carbon emissions over the same period, while aiming to achieve a non-fossil energy capacity of 500GW. To achieve these ambitious goals, factors such as accelerating action and measures taken by governments, corporations, investors, states, and cities must be taken into account; all of which must play their part in transitioning to low-carbon growth.
According to the CDP India Disclosure Report 2022, businesses in India are becoming increasingly aware of the risks posed by climate change and are taking proactive steps to mitigate those risks.
This year saw a 40 percent increase in environmental disclosures across CDP's three themes - climate change, water security and forests - as well as an impressive range of initiatives such as setting targets, increased board-level scrutiny of environmental issues, and investing in renewable energy.
The report mentions that businesses have identified potential opportunities worth a total of Rs 31,000 billion and have committed to mitigating over 1 million tonnes of CO2 e biogenic emissions. This is a 10x increase over 2021, mostly as a result of the inclusion of the green hydrogen opportunity and the shift to clean energy. India is making strides towards becoming more climate-conscious and the future looks optimistically green. The report mentions that the financial effect of climate-related risk projected to be Rs 2,842 billion.
India's significant progress
India has made significant progress in its commitment to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, including transitioning to renewable energy sources, setting ambitious net-zero emissions targets, and promoting green growth.
For renewable energy, India has committed to achieving a 500GW non-fossil energy capacity and providing 50% of its energy needs through RE by 2030. To reduce carbon emissions, India has vowed to reduce global carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes between now and 2030 and reached a goal of net-zero emissions by 2070.
To further its commitment to combat climate change, Indian cities such as Mumbai have been recognised by CDP's A-list for their leadership in climate action. Additionally, organisations are utilising carbon pricing and science-based targets to mitigate the financial, operational, and reputational risks associated with climate change. Lastly, water security targets and risk assessments at a corporate level are also being introduced to reduce environmental impact.
Critical next steps
To meet its climate goals, India needs to take decisive action to reduce emissions from all sectors. This includes investing in clean energy, improving energy efficiency, electrifying transportation, switching to green hydrogen, decarbonising industry, protecting and restoring forests and mangroves. It also needs to improve agricultural and livestock practices, and developing a robust carbon pricing system.
India also needs to accelerate the adoption of circular economy practices and further integrate sustainable behaviour into corporate governance structures.
India's progress - Sector wise analysis
Use of ICP is on the rise: Globally, 1418 businesses reported using Internal Carbon Pricing (ICP) in 2022, and its adoption is being increasingly seen among Indian businesses. Of the 110 businesses in India that either already use or intend to use ICP within the next two years, 68 plan to use it, a 25 percent increase from 2021. Another 42 have already incorporated ICP, a 35 percent increase from 2021. This is a marked 30 percent growth against last year.
Science-Based Targets - According to the CDP's findings, 35 percent of the 122 surveyed companies have Science Based Target or SBT-validated 1.5-degree aligned targets. The report mentions that others have targets that adhere to the WB2DS/2DS target ambition. These latter targets necessitate more ambitious action to conform to the Paris Agreement of 2015 urgent objectives.
Renewable Energy -Out of the 122 companies that reported their climate data to CDP, it was reported that 195 Terra Watt hours (TWh) of electricity was consumed. Of this, 18 TWh was generated through renewable energy. 64 of these businesses identified opportunities in transitioning to low-carbon energy sources across their value chain, amounting to Rs. 93 billion worth of potential savings from embracing energy efficiency and switching to greener fuel.
Water security- According to the results of CDP's 2022 water security survey, 67 percent of businesses are now monitoring their water goals at the corporate level. Environmental protection was cited by 60 percent of respondents as the main reason for setting water targets, while water stewardship was selected by the remaining 40 percent. Moreover, 43 out of 45 respondents reported conducting periodic internal risk assessments related to water usage to promote water security. Physical hazards such as floods, droughts, and rising water stress were also identified by the majority (80 percent) of organisations, in addition to regulatory risks (15 percent), reputation/market risks (3 percent), and technology-related threats (2 percent). This underscores the mutual relationship between water risk and the potential consequences of climate change.
"Congratulations to all the companies recognised at The CDP India Annual Event 2022. This year's performances as well as the CDP environmental data bears this out - that the private sector is on the right track to achieve climate neutrality as sustainability and innovation seems to be at the heart of their plans. Such an ambitious achievement for India highlights the need for immediate resolute action, and the time has never been better. As a mission-based organisation that runs the global environmental disclosure system, CDP India greatly values the dedication of such companies, and will continue to encourage such goals to reach the Net Zero target we are aiming for" - Prarthana Borah, Director, CDP India
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