India and Sweden to Lead UN Leadership Group to Work Towards Sustainability

As global leaders ramp up their efforts to combat climate change, a new leadership group led by India and Sweden has been announced at the UN Climate Action Summit. The newly formed group will help guide the world’s heaviest greenhouse gas emitting industries toward the low-carbon economy.

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres recently hosted the Climate Action Summit in New York ahead of the UN General Assembly. Guterres called on all leaders, governments, the private sector, civil society, local authorities, and other international organizations to come with concrete, realistic plans that will boost ambition and rapidly accelerate action to implement the Paris Agreement.

On October 2, 2016, India became the 62nd country to ratify the Paris Agreement. The agreement requires each member country to generate its national plan to curb carbon emissions and rising temperatures. India’s national plan has set a goal of generating 40% of its electricity from renewable energy sources.

Besides India and Sweden, the other members of the group that will drive transformation in hard-to-decarbonize and energy-intensive sectors are: Argentina, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, South Korea and the UK, as well as a group of companies including Dalmia Cement, DSM, Heathrow Airport, LKAB, Mahindra Group, Royal Schiphol Group, Scania, SpiceJet, SSAB, ThyssenKrupp and Vattenfall.



This global initiative will be supported by the World Economic Forum, the Energy Transitions Commission, Mission Innovation, Stockholm Environment Institute, and the European Climate Foundation among many others in an ambitious, public-private effort, to ensure heavy industries and mobility companies can find a workable pathway to deliver on the Paris Agreement.

Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum said, “There is a huge level of support and enthusiasm in the private sector to engage with governments and peers to reduce emissions across their operations and value chains.”

Industrial emissions, including those from hard-to-abate and energy-intensive sectors like steel, cement, aluminum, aviation, and shipping are expected to be responsible for 15.7Gt by 2050. The international collaboration between countries and industry groups is critical to establish workable policy frameworks and incentives and to enable joint investment into low carbon infrastructure.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi commented on the development saying, “Each one of us has to discharge climate responsibilities based on our situations and capacities. I hope that the work under the industry transition track will facilitate early diffusion of technology and support to developing countries in this journey”.

Moreover, Prime Minister Modi has called for increasing the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix during the India-Pacific Islands Developing States (PSIDS) Leaders’ Meeting held on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

He also announced the allocation of $12 million grant ($1 million to each PSIDS) towards the implementation of high impact developmental project in the area of their choice.

“In addition, a concessional Line of Credit of $150 million which can be availed by the PSIDS for undertaking solar, renewable energy and climate-related projects based on each country’s requirement was announced,” said the release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Previously, at the summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India is going to increase the share of non-fossil fuels to 175 GW by 2022 and will further take it to 450 GW.

In its gesture of support for renewable energy, India has gifted 193 solar panels to the United Nations (UN). These solar panels are for each of UN’s 193 member nations.

The 193 solar panels will be installed at the roof of the UN headquarters in New York City, and are expected to generate a peak power of 50 kW. The panels have been valued at approximately $1 million.

Image credit: MEA