• Availability and affordability of power is a key enabler to meet SDGs: Minister Piyush Goyal

    Electricity is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). India is a power surplus country and can generate 50 percent more power in relation to current production. Government of India is working on addressing last mile connectivity, stated Mr Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (I/C) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India.

    Mr Goyal stressed India’s commitment to its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and to sustainable development and SDGs. He announced that the Government would shortly come up with a mandate for thermal power plants to utilize processed wastewater from a radius of 50 km and replace the fresh water utilization by treated wastewater.

    He added that India is the only country which taxes carbon. Clean coal cess has been substantially increasing over past few years. Now it is time for the world to start looking at the consumption in terms of carbon footprint rather just exporting the pollution to other parts of the world. India is only contributing to 4 percent of the global GHG emissions while supporting 17 percent of world population, he noted, adding that the world must recognize the principle of ‘polluter pays’.

    Mr. Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative in India, said that given the size and complexity of social problems in India, the solutions to global challenges would be developed here over the next 10-15 years. India has come out with innovative solutions for developmental challenges like creation of 175 GW of renewable energy capacities, fulfilling Swachh Bharat targets etc. He stressed that the financial gap for meeting developmental goals can only be fulfilled by the private sector through sustainable and moderately profitable business models.

    In the last few years, there have been great efforts, both at the global level as well as in India, to encourage industries to move towards sustainable business models, said Mr. Ajay S Shriram, Past President, CII and Chairman & Senior Managing Director, DCM Shriram Limited. Mr Shriram lauded the government’s efforts in increasing the share of renewable energy and mentioned that Indian industry has given green energy commitments of over 200,000 MW. He added that hydropower which has been an important source of energy in total energy portfolio should have faster environmental clearances particularly for small and micro hydropower projects.

    Mr. Sanjiv Puri, Chief Operating Officer, ITC Limited, said that India’s INDCs have targeted lowering the carbon emission intensity to 33 to 35 percent by 2030 and proactive steps are required for energy security. Mr Puri mentioned the efforts of ITC to become water positive, carbon positive and positive on waste recycling.

    Mr. S. Raghupathy, Deputy Director General, CII, said that CII through Indian Green Building Council has been able to achieve 3.9 billion sq feet of green building. Payback period of adoption of energy efficient technologies has come down to 4-5 years. John Stallworth Authentic Jersey

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