Can India become competitive while pursuing climate - resistant development?  Difficult but possible

Can India become competitive while pursuing climate – resistant development? Difficult but possible – Mail Bonus

The recently published report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in February 2022 has made it clear that the future lies in climate – resistant development, or none at all. In the wake of COP26, it has given serious and urgent attention to the adaptation of climate risk management and mitigation policies, so that the target of 1.5 degrees Celsius is achieved. One might think that this would mean significant investment in renewable energy, clean technology, infrastructure and related industries, perhaps at the expense of others, and sacrificing competitiveness.

Given the abundance of traditional energy sources such as coal and their dependence on related industries, some of our countries such as UP, MP and Odisha could not be naturally competitive in these areas. They could lose in this race to attract investment. This can increase inequality, unemployment and poverty, while reducing their earning capacity and competitiveness. In addition, job creation due to this change could also be concentrated in the developed countries of India, which results in regional disparities as well as loss of livelihood. The question, then, is whether our competitiveness and business plan and climate-resilient investment can go hand in hand?

The IPCC report also warns of the risk of policy and policy malpractice. This can have serious consequences for society, especially for vulnerable groups. It sets out some conditions to ensure the optimal design and implementation of such a policy. In a recent White Paper on Improving India’s Competitiveness for Inclusive Growth, co-authored by CUTS International, the Institute for Competitiveness and the Institute for Studies in Industrial Development, we reviewed the conditions for improving and maintaining India’s competitiveness and found significant similarities. the conditions. mentioned in the IPCC report. These are:

Investment in intangible assets: Competitiveness for inclusive growth is underlined by the strengthening of social and economic infrastructure in education and health. The IPCC report also emphasizes that the efficiency and effectiveness of climate policy depends not only on the development of physical infrastructure but also on social infrastructure. This would increase the adaptability of vulnerable groups through diversity in their livelihoods and employment, as well as access to basic services and infrastructure. Thus, investment in health and education will be crucial for the development of competitiveness and human resources, as well as climate-resilient development.

Better convergence between policy and actors: For competitiveness, it is necessary to ensure convergence between different policies and parties, both within and outside the government and at various levels. According to the IPCC report, if policies are targeted at sectors in isolation, it would lead to disqualification. It emphasizes a multifaceted, multifaceted approach and inclusive planning, in order to minimize the failure of adaptation. This means that public sector companies, the private sector, trade unions and civil society organizations must all be involved in policy-making, as this would ensure that all the interests of stakeholders, especially those who are vulnerable, such as municipalities and poorer communities, are taken into account.

Modernize and increase the capacity of public institutions: Building institutional capacity, strength and credibility is the backbone of an economy’s competitiveness. The IPCC report also recognizes that effective adaptation may be limited by institutional and technical capacity. It points out that the effective implementation of adaptation through financial and technical means is only possible if it is supported by institutions that have the capacity to understand the requirements.

Collaborative relationship: This principle is the essence of all aspects. Interestingly, the IPCC report emphasizes in many cases the importance of harmonized action at all levels of government. Our White Paper on Competitiveness also places sufficient emphasis on coordination between the three levels of government and between departments. This is especially true in a country like India with current inertia and economic discrimination that has a detrimental effect on competitiveness.

India is already pursuing a clear strategy towards climate-resilient development, as evidenced by its ambitious commitments at COP26. This would require the development of infrastructure, where the government is promoting foreign and domestic investment, through systems such as production-related incentives. The private sector is also taking sufficient steps to invest heavily in non-fossil fuels, renewable energy and non-fossil fuels, towards its own carbon emissions targets. These investments will drive India’s competitive growth, create jobs and help mitigate climate change.

However, such a transition to climate change adaptation needs to take place in a fair, equitable and equitable manner, taking into account the current competitiveness and competitiveness of different regions. Investments must serve both development and adaptation objectives. Only when climate-resistant development takes place with growth for all, and equality and justice are given priority, can it lead to a sustainable outcome.

India must strive to achieve the dual goals of economic growth and to achieve its own climate goals, with carefully coordinated and implemented policies to attract public and private investment. Given India’s high inequality, the policy to achieve these goals must include sustainability (for future generations), inclusion (for vulnerable groups) and equality (to reduce economic disparities). This can only happen when the basic building blocks of a competitive climate-resilient economy, as discussed above, are in place. The future of India as a competitive economy that contributes to the global goals of climate change through fair domestic growth lies in this integration.

The authors work for CUTS International, an international public policy research and interest group.

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