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Driving climate action in India

Our year in review

23 January 2024, 10:57 UTC 4 min read

In 2023, we completed 15 years of operations in India. We also brought governments and businesses together on climate action. This lookback shares some of our important milestones, which will set the stage for our work in 2024.      

Reframing climate policy in India 

We all recognise that policy change is crucial if we are to limit global temperature to 1.5 degree Celsius or below. We created momentum at both COP28 and the G20 Leaders’ Summit for this. Apart from the Under2 Coalition General Assembly at COP28, we held three impactful sessions featuring prominent leaders from the government, business, community, and civil society.  

One session decoded  the G20's landmark Green Development Pact which seeks to balance economic progress and sustainability. Another session dived into ways in which global  climate action can be accelerated via subnational leadership. This session brought to the fore experiences of several climate champions from the government, civil society, youth and indigenous communities from the global South. It reemphasised the need to amplify subnational leadership and peer-to-peer learning.    

A  global forum on mitigating methane  emissions  was also organised in collaboration with Global Methane Hub, at the Under2 Coalition General Assembly. This session put a spotlight on action for methane emission reduction in India, Brazil and Nigeria as well as new tools and technology from research institutions.   

During India’s G20 Presidency we served as a Network Partner and Knowledge Partner to the B20. We contributed both knowledge and insights to key documents such as  policy recommendations to the G20. We were also a Taskforce Member of the B20's Working Group on Energy, Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. We also amplified business voice through an Open Letter which contained  seven policy asks on a just, clean energy transition. This letter was submitted to the G20 and was endorsed by 15 major businesses, a testament to business commitment on shouldering climate action.   

Meghalaya became the 8th Indian signatory  of the  Under2 Coalition. The current signatories represent more than 29% of India's population, contributing nearly 30% to the country’s GDP.  For the second year running, the  State Climate Fellows supported policy planning and implementation to counter climate change across 5 different states. Their experiences can be  read here.    

Transforming India’s growth engines    

Our focus areas were energy, industry and transport in 2023.  

Renewable energy is the need of the hour. A major outcome of the G20 has been a commitment to tripling renewable energy by 2030. India too aims to achieve 450 GW of renewable energy by that year. Towards this end, Ashok Leyland, India’s second largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles and fourth largest manufacturer of buses in the world, joined the  RE100 initiative  following JK Lakshmi Cement earlier in the year. To spur demand for renewables, the 6th edition of the RE100 India Members’ Forum was also organised connecting members on critical aspects of the transition to renewable electricity.   

Steel is key to India’s growth story. The Indian steel industry is projected to grow to about 430 million tonnes of annual demand of crude steel by 2050. A business-as-usual steel production scenario will, however, lead to over 1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions annually from the sector by 2050. Net zero steel was thus high on our agenda. The  SteelZero India Conclave was co-hosted as an official B20 event to make policy recommendations that are grounded in the reality of transitioning businesses to net zero steel. A  policy brief that identified policies and near-term actions the G20 could deploy for Green Public and Private procurement was also published as part of the official G20 communique.     

Sustainable transportation needs a push. IKEA, JSW Steel and Flipkart are major Indian businesses who are members of the  EV100  and  EV100+ initiatives. They  launched pilots to introduce electric trucks  in their fleets. The pilots will provide invaluable insights on large-scale adoption by Indian businesses. Meanwhile, we supported the launch of NITI Aayog’s e-Fast platform, and a High-Level Ambition Group on Zero Emission Trucks with CALSTART and UC Davis at the Climate Energy Ministerial (CEM). The  e-Fast platform , the launch of which led to a demand of 7,500 vehicles, signals potential and huge interest in electric trucks. Both platforms are expected to fast-track policy discussions and propel suitable regulations.   

Setting the agenda    

Apart from our programmes and policy work, our initiatives in India reached thousands of people on solutions out of the climate crisis. Our work was published in over 200 publications in India and globally. In 2024, the aim is to reach millions of more people in collaboration with NDTV through a series of videos showcasing business climate action and to build on our successes in the previous year.