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Sustainable development holds key for India's growth

The importance of finance as a critical enabler of climate change action can hardly be overemphasized. With this in view, the Modi government has taken an integrated approach at the domestic and international front for mobilizing finances for apposite climate action

Sustainable development holds key for India’s growth
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Sustainable development holds key for India’s growth  

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Kolkata: While recognizing the challenges emerging on account of the unprecedented crisis due to Covid-19 pandemic, the Economic Survey tabled on Friday made it clear that sustainable development will remain core to the India, when it comes to formulating the country's development strategy.

India's emphasis will be on achieving equity not just across countries and within the countries but also across and within the generations, thereby countering the iniquitous impact of Covid-19 pandemic too, it said.

The survey pointed out that India has taken several proactive steps to mainstream the SDGs into the policies, schemes and programmes including the Voluntary National Review (VNR), which was presented to the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development and provides for review and follow-up of the SDGs through continuous engagement and feedback, Localisation of SDGs, under which states and Union Territories have created discrete institutional structures for implementation of SDGs in their own specific contexts. Interestingly, VNR also provides an avenue for active participation of private sector as seen in the Corporate Social Responsibility spending.

Then there have been some prominent government initiatives on mitigation and adaptation actions such as India's National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change and implementation of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &)Electric Vehicle in India (FAME India) scheme.

The importance of finance as a critical enabler of climate change action can hardly be overemphasized. With this in view, the Modi government has taken an integrated approach at the domestic and international front for mobilizing finances for apposite climate action. It is also working towards achieving consensus on the definition of Climate Finance, Transparency Mechanism, Common Time Frames and A Long-Term Climate Finance, which will be a top priority in Cop 26.

India, the survey mentioned, is moving in the direction of creating a Social Stock Exchange (SSE), under the regulatory ambit of SEBI for raising capital by Social Enterprises working for the realization of a social welfare objective.

The Survey pointed out that India being the second largest green bond market among the emerging markets after China. In 2017, to give push to Green Bonds issuances in India, SEBI issued guidelines on green bonds including listing of green bonds on the Indian stock exchanges. As of December 24, 2020, eight ESG mutual funds have been launched in India.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA), on its parts, has recently launched two new initiatives – a 'World Solar Bank' and 'One Sun One World One Grid Initiative' - of global import to bring about solar energy revolution globally. The ISA Secretariat has recently launched a 'Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action' comprising of global public and private corporates. It has also organized First World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) in September 2020 with an objective of showcasing to Member Countries the state of the art and next-generation solar technologies.

Ritwik Mukherjee
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