The World Economic Forum on Monday announced a new "Alliance of CEO Climate Action Leaders India" that will work towards fast-tracking decarbonisation pathways along India's net-zero journey.
A collaboration between Kearney and Observer Research Foundation, the Alliance brings together chief executives from India's leading businesses. The Alliance is part of the Forum's Climate Action Platform and will build upon learnings from global projects such as the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders and the First Movers Coalition.
"It will bring together the government, businesses and other key stakeholders to achieve the Indian Prime Minister's ambitious, five-part "Panchamrit" pledge, which includes the country's net-zero by 2070 target," the WEF said.
"As a major global economy, India's role in mitigating climate change is critical and India Inc. must add its full weight to the country's efforts, as well to the global endeavour, against global warming," said Sumant Sinha, Co-Chair, Alliance of CEO Climate Action Leaders India, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ReNew Power.
The Alliance will serve as a high-level platform to support business leaders in planning and implementing plans and programmes to achieve climate targets, including net-zero economic growth.
"The Alliance becomes part of our comprehensive nature and climate action agenda in India, which includes collaborative initiatives such as Trillion Trees, Moving India for rapid electric vehicle deployment, clean energy financing, Food Innovation Hubs, Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics and Clean Skies for Tomorrow," said Borge Brende, President, World Economic Forum.
According to Anish Shah, co-chair of the Alliance and Mahindra Group's Managing Director, "the signs of climate change with varying temperature and weather patterns impacting human lives are clearly visible to all of us. Hence, the global initiative and commitment towards climate change, is indeed a positive sign of hope."
Shah said: "We believe that it is absolutely possible for us to achieve the 1.5 degree celsius target from the Paris agreement. We at Mahindra, have launched a number of major initiatives greening ourselves, decarbonising our industry and rejuvenating our planet - and believe that we are making strong progress to be Carbon neutral by 2040."
WEF's Alliance of CEO Climate Action Leaders India is a "decisive, collaborative step to scale up our efforts this decade in the race to net-zero," he added.
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, the WEF said.
The government and business leaders from India have been stressing on the need for moving into the green energy space faster but in a calibrated as well as sustainable way.
Also, a lot of emphasis is being given on green hydrogen and biofuels, while a number of consumer industries have been also vocal about using green energy sources with the right policy measures.
Industry players have also been talking about the cost factor but are hopeful that the costs can be brought down by the right policy interference and a collaborative approach.
The government and business leaders also believe there is a great opportunity before India to step up the green hydrogen game and eventually export it to the rest of the world.