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Combating Climate Change with a Sustainable Approach to Industrial Development

Climate change is a complex global issue that requires a multi-faceted approach to combat its effects. The major causes of climate change are identified as the generation of power and manufacturing goods by burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, unwise use of transportation services, producing food, and growing demand for energy, in nutshell, overexploitation of natural resources. It accounts for over 75% of greenhouse emissions and nearly 90% of carbon emissions. A sustainable approach to combating climate change involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions while promoting economic growth, environmental conservation, and social equity.

Government of India encourages companies to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability into the business processes. Businesses being the engine of growth and employment, play an important role in mitigating climate change and contributing to delivering the Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving both inclusive and sustainable national development will be possible only when there is a collaborative effort from all stakeholders.

Sustainable Industrial Development

Sustainability in industrial development involves minimizing environmental impact while maximizing economic and social benefits. This can be achieved by using renewable energy sources, reducing waste and emissions, and implementing circular economy practices.

For example, companies can transition to renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar, to power their operations instead of relying on fossil fuels. They can also implement energy-efficient practices, such as upgrading equipment and using automation, to reduce energy consumption. 

Let’s look a few strategies that can be implemented across various sectors:  

  • Circular economy approach can be used to minimize waste by reusing, repurposing, or recycling materials. This can help reduce the need for raw materials, which can reduce the environmental impact of extraction and processing.
  • Investing in sustainable supply chains and promoting sustainable practices among suppliers and customers. 
  • Sustainable farming practices, such as regenerative agriculture, can help reduce carbon emissions from agriculture while improving soil health and biodiversity. 
  • Sustainable forestry practices, such as reforestation and reducing deforestation, can help reduce carbon emissions while promoting biodiversity and protecting ecosystems. 
  • A robust domestic carbon credit market can incentivize businesses to reduce their carbon emissions while promoting innovation in renewable energy and energy efficiency. 
  • Promoting climate education can help raise awareness about the importance of combating climate change and encourage individuals and communities to take action.

CII Climate Action Charter: A step towards sustainability

Launched on 21st September 2022, CII Climate Action Charter (CCAC) aims to help businesses develop long-term actions to build resilience, facilitate businesses to lead their sectoral climate actions and showcase best practices for addressing climate risks. It has been designed to provide an impetus for collective action by Indian businesses to drive solutions for a just, equitable and sustainable transition.

CII Climate Action Charter is based on four core principles- GHG emission reduction (measure the present GHG emission and develop measurable short-term and long-term targets for GHG emission reduction), transition in the value chain (Identify risks to which the value chain is exposed and support in climate transition), building resilience(Work with the company’s leadership team to build resilience for future climate change impacts), and mobilizing green finance (help in framework development of green bonds usage, accelerate green finance for climate transition and to improve the identification and management of financial risks related to the climate and the environment).

Climate change is the defining issue of present times and businesses are facing major challenges due to increasing extreme weather events and fatal climate events causing damage on a large scale. The focus of this initiative is to drive corporate climate action in India and facilitate businesses to lead their sectoral climate actions. 

The bottom line

The increase in climatic change leads to various consequences detrimental not only to humans but to the entire globe at the macro level. Given the urgency, we see Indian industry making concerted efforts to deal with this challenge and help India reach closer to its sustainable goals. India is set on a sustainable mission and intends to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2070 and meet 50% of its electricity requirements from renewable sources by 2030. 

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