The world is facing a climate crisis. Existing commitments and action currently put the world on track to a 2.1-2.3-degree Celsius warming by the end of the century. The IPCC reports that warming 2 degrees or more is a tipping point for irreversible, detrimental impacts to the Earth’s climate. India is already facing impacts of a warming climate. Coastal flooding from sea level rise, heat waves, and melting glaciers in the Himalayas threaten India’s projected growth over the next few decades. India is projected to have the largest growth in energy demand over the next two decades, and in a business-as-usual scenario, energy related emissions could more than double to reach current US levels. It is home to 22 out of the 30 most polluted cities in the world, due in large part to the burning of fossil fuels, and accounts for a quarter of annual mortality impact due to air pollution.
At the same time, current energy imports, primarily fossil fuels, cost India a staggering $130 billion per year, while energy demand is projected to grow four-fold by 2050. India’s goal of Energy Independence by 2047 is currently unattainable – India imports 90% of its oil and 80% of its industrial coal. Yet, the deep reduction in clean energy costs provides India an opportunity to lower energy imports and achieve self-reliance through investment in a clean energy transition. Not only would this transition reduce India’s import dependence on oil and coal, but it could lead to huge emission reductions, massive environmental benefits and offer India an opportunity to lead in clean energy, serving as a new development model for the Global South.
Finally, India must innovate its industry to stay globally competitive. India’s auto sector contributes half the nation’s manufacturing GDP and exports a quarter of its automobiles, while employing 37 million people directly and indirectly. However, it faces competitive risk if it doesn’t keep pace as rest of the world goes electric. India’s steel and cement industries face similar challenges as global regulations tighten to boost green production.
The India Center strives to ‘meet the moment’, given the opportune timing of several factors – cost effectiveness of clean energy, global attention to the climate crisis, and the impetus to drastically reduce emissions in the next decade. The Center aims to engage with policymakers on issues at the intersection of the clean energy transition, energy security, industrial competitiveness, political economy, and an equitable transition.
This will be done through policy analysis and strategic dialogue, translating scientific research and policy insights into accessible collaboration, and information for policymakers. This will also entail capacity building through virtual and in-person executive education, strategic US-India Dialogue, and mentorship of UC Berkeley students interested in the Center.
At the India Energy & Climate Center, we work to leverage the clean tech revolution to deliver rapid energy independence and emissions reduction through research and engagement which catalyses ambitious policymaking for India. Policy analysis rooted in scientific rigor enables us to inform India’s clean energy targets and implementation pathways. We aim to inform and work closely with the Indian bureaucracy to ensure that:
- More policymakers in India have appreciation of alignment between energy security and climate goals, as well as a systemic approach to the clean energy transition.
- More policymakers in India have deeper understanding of fast evolving techno-economics of clean technologies, to ensure that policy making is grounded in scientific rigor.
- India pivots to a whole-of-government approach to achieve energy independence through clean technologies, while accelerating emissions reductions and other environmental actions.
- There is an independent platform for strategic dialogue on US-India collaboration amongst thought leaders from the government, industry, and academia/civil society.
Contact us at email@example.com to know more or to get involved.