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Twin crises of Covid, climate change offer opportunities: Amitabh Kant

Twin crises of Covid, climate change offer opportunities: Amitabh Kant

Twin crises of Covid, climate change offer opportunities: Amitabh Kant

New Delhi, Aug 13 As the world is confronted by twin crises of the Covid-19 pandemic and the extreme impact of climate change, these offer an opportunity to industry for bringing in sustainable and competitive change for transition to green measures, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Thursday.

"The industry organisations have to 'restructure', 'resize' and 'redesign' and the role of the CII is to prepare and guide its membership to adapt to the new environment. The pandemic has presented the industry with an opportunity to be globally competitive by developing quality products and becoming a part of global supply chains," he said in his opening remarks at the Plenary Session on 'India's Development Transition and Climate Change' on the second day of the CII Annual Meeting held virtually.

To that effect, the Indian industry has to adopt a three-pronged approach of "Go Green, Go Digital, and Skill your Workers," Kant said, adding that developing digital reliance requires digital transformation of manufacturing, intelligent network of machines, and processes with IT and communication technology.

His suggested pathways included deploying Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Analytics, Augmented Reality, Robotics, Cyber Security, Machine-to-Machine communication in order for manufacturing processes to create "astute digital factories of tomorrow".

"We are in the midst of a new transition for a growth pathway defined by Climate Change," said the CEO who has been at the helm of NITI Aayog's initiatives to define and deploy India's climate change goals.

On the Sixth Assessment Report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he said: "India ranks among the top 10 countries in the Climate Change Performance Index. Our practices have been considered as compliant to UNFCC, Kyoto Protocol, and Paris Agreement. India is the only G20 country with 1.5-degree Celsius compliance. But we need the support of the industry to translate policy into action."

He highlighted the areas where India needs to focus on, its current industrial profile being considered as cost-effective, medium quality products with islands of excellence, lack of high value, cutting-edge product leading to low exports, decent value-added growth but low job growth, low green manufacturing practices and high cost of power and logistics and high cost of capital. "Green industries will be the industries of the future as the world is moving away from old high-carbon energy," he asserted.

India's strategy for growth is to focus on developing Green Hydrogen that can be made available at competitive rates which will, according to him, make other forms of energy redundant, especially in heavy carbon-guzzling industries like steel, transportation etc. India actively is looking to invest in R&D in developing Green Hydrogen.

Kant also highlighted the need for new ways of plan for urbanisation by mandatorily redesigning and reinstating water recycling and harvesting mechanism to mitigate the impending water crisis.

CII past President CII and Triveni Turbine Ltd Chairman & Managing Director, Dhruv M. Sawhney highlighted Kant's mentorship to CII in driving its direction in climate change through the three Centres of Excellence working on this - the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Development, the Green Business Council, and the Water Institute. "We are going to be in a scenario of unpredictability of extreme heat, marine heat waves, tropical cyclones, droughts, floods. In cities there may be a combination of factors. CII will play an active role under the guidance and mentorship of NITI Aayog in tackling the Global Climate Change crisis," he said.

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