Fourth India Members meeting held in New Delhi

24 February 2010

On February 16, we held our fourth India Members Meeting at the Bharti corporate offices in New Delhi.

The meeting focused on climate strategies being followed by companies in India – as well as national and international developments within the climate change space.  

Aditi Dass and Mark Kenber of the Climate Group provided an update on COP15 and an overview of corporates, cities, states and regions climate action taking place across the globe. It’s clear that the lack of a legally binding international treaty at Copenhagen has not been a roadblock for constructive actions and there is plenty of room for optimism. Large economies like India are committing to domestic action, and incentivizing and collaborating with the private sector to help drive an era of clean growth.

Mr. S. Asokan , Director, Supply Chain, Airtel presented a conceptual summary of the telecoms sector and showcased some of the excellent efforts being made by Airtel to measure and manage carbon emissions. Though the direct footprint of the company is limited, it has an opportunity to influence a wide network. Mr. Asokan stated that the ‘Communication’ element of ICT is critical in India’s transition to the low-carbon economy, particularly on a policy perspective.

Manoj Raathor, Program Director, Global Energy Projects for Johnson Controls, elaborated on his company’s goal of creating the smartest, cleanest and most efficient building systems in the world. Johnson Controls has the potential to make huge impact – as it works on buildings in at least 125 countries around the world. Mr. Raathor emphasized that for any effort to yield great results, collaboration and collective action is essential.

The Government of Gujarat, represented by Mr. S.B. Patil from the Gujarat Energy Development Agency, spoke about the optimization of state solar and wind resources, and the different initiatives and policy incentives that the Government there is developing. He highlighted the development of Gandhinagar as one of India’s burgeoning  new solar-powered city.

In the discussion that followed between the attendees, the need for stable, smart policies; India-specific research; effective corporate engagement; and best-case practice sharing within and across sectors was highlighted.

Mr. Suresh Prabhu, former Minister, Government of India, called climate and energy “two sides of the same coin,” and pointed out that a market economy should be an encouraging force to help companies and technologies to make the transition to a low-carbon future. The crucial ingredient, he stressed, is ‘policy’, particularly related to energy distribution.

Mr. Raghuraman, Adviser, Jaguar overseas; and former senior advisor to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) congratulated the corporates for their insight around the opportunity for innovation in India. Raghuraman cited India’s proud tradition of ‘frugal engineering’ as a powerful force for transformation to the low carbon economy.

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