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TERI-KAS National workshop on, “Climate Change: New Age Evolution”

-by TERI-KAS India

Contrary to the metaphorical boat so often invoked when talking about Climate Change, there is only one Earth: our efforts to keep it afloat is a task of existential proportions that requires concrete action, not idle talk. The third day of the TERI-KAS national workshop on "Climate Change - New Age Evolution" provided us with precisely such urgently needed concrete action plans and solution approaches on how to effectively tackle the climate crisis facing today. Intense discussions among experts on the financial dimensions involved as well as on the technological and societal changes that are requisite to achieve our climate goals, a pathway towards a verdant India was laid out. This was built on the imperative desire to protect our citizens from the threats to their lives and well-being that climate change is already causing and will continue to cause in even more drastic forms in the times to come if we fail to act now. The conference deliberations ended with an outlook on the future of climate change for India and the shared realisation of all participants, that climate change is no longer a distant concern, it is happening right here, it is happening right now and it is our moral duty, as well as our pledge to future generations, to come together and combat it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Emissions have come down 28% against the 35% target specified in the Paris agreement, however, there is a need to look towards adaptation and mitigation strategies to strengthen climate policies. The fact that despite tremendous progress in technological advancement we’re still at a cautionary point in our environmental progress, showcases the fact that we need significantly upgrade our mitigation efforts on a global scale.
  • Higher Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions have several economic implications like loss of jobs, deteriorating GDP status, air pollution etc. We need to remember that we borrow the earth from our previous generation and thereby need to act accordingly. The COVID pandemic taught us the extent to which a global meltdown of services and daily activity can cause on humanity, a climate change crisis will be much more devastating. 
  • Net Zero is net positive and it must be specified that India needs its own carbon space to develop.
  • Hydrothermal Carbonization can treat high moisture waste and enhance resource recovery potential. It can efficiently treat heterogeneous wet waste without pre-drying. Also, it requires lesser time and space than biological processes. It can be carried out at moderate reaction conditions (180- 260° C) under auto-generated pressure.
  • The major transformation that we require in short term is to provide subsidies and incentives to electric vehicles and related equipment manufacturers, Also, the quality of public transport particularly bus and rail needs to be improved in terms of safety, comfort and infrastructure.
  • Ethanol can be produced through biomass or coal. However, research shows that Biomass to Ethanol (BTE) is more environment friendly whereas Coal to Ethanol (CTE) is commercially viable option. Deeper utilization of fossil fuels during production and carbon sequestration can help to a great extent.
  • While India aims for a dedicated and unified natural gas transmission network under the “One Nation One Gas Grid”, its objective to establish a gas-based economy is viable only if large domestic reserves are discovered and exploited.
  • The proposed Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is based on the idea that a price on carbon consumption will encourage countries to adopt cleaner technologies and clean up their production process, along with avoiding carbon leakages to other countries with relaxed environmental standards. India being EU’s 11th largest import destination and EU being India’s 3rd largest export destination, implementation of CBAM by the EU can make Indian exports expensive, hence altering the trade dynamics between the two countries.
  • Coastal indigenous people witness many changes due to climate change, commercial exploitation of marine life, search for hydrocarbons and other resources, pollution,
  • increasing ‘dead areas’ and this increases their vulnerability. Addressing this global challenge demands an inclusive solution which will require us to formally recognize the traditional knowledge of Indigenous people worldwide and also establish meaningful partnerships with the indigenous communities. 
  • Building resilience of communities through investments in social infrastructure and repurposing of land (and infrastructure) to generate employment and attract low-carbon investments is critical for establishing the principle of just transition in India. Additionally, there is also a need for Just Transition in the agricultural sector primarily due to the limited scope of finance institutions, huge dependence on traditional methods for farming (chemical-based farming), and augmented levels of land-induced vulnerability.
  • There is a greater need to invest in green technologies as they are more cost effective than brown technologies. To achieve net zero target, we need huge financing of around 2-3 trillion dollars which further requires better cooperation among nations. Achieving the ambitious targets of COP 26 while maintaining just transition requires cooperation among civil society, NGOs, government and private institutions.

To continue reading the whole outcome report kindly refer to the attached pdf on the same website.

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Ronny Dirk Heine

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Leiter des Regionalprogramms Zentralasien

Ronny.Heine@kas.de +998 71 215-52-01 +998 71 255-30-94

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