The launch of the NITI Aayog and CII partnership on sustainable development goals (SDGs) took place at the Government and Business Partnership Conclave in New Delhi on August 8, 2018. The conclave was organized by NITI Aayog, CII and the United Nations (UN).
CII and NITI Aayog have entered into a three-year partnership, and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed. This partnership focuses on specific activities that aim to develop a vision and action agenda for businesses and industries to contribute to SDGs, annual status reports, and sector-specific best practice documents.
Speaking at the launch of the partnership, R.K. Singh, Minister of Power, said that business and government must partner for the sustainable development of India.
Singh added that in sustainable development, three things matter the most: energy, water and a circular economy or green industry. Moreover, the Minister expressed confidence that India will achieve its clean energy goals even earlier than 2022 and urged everyone to be conscious and responsible towards the environment.
Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, highlighted that the fast pace of urbanization in India comes at a time in which countries such as the United States and E.U are almost finished with this process. Given India’s population, Kant emphasized, the only way to grow and develop sustainably is to use technology for growth, use new and renewable energy to push for research and development (R&D) and innovation, to generate demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen cars, and to find local solutions for the seven-million-strong population around the world.
Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator, said that conditions in India are favorable due to its nature, history and demography, to come up with solutions toward a sustainable and circular economy for the world to emulate.
Rakesh Bharti Mittal, president of CII and vice chairman of Bharti Enterprises Ltd., stressed that the current theme of CII 2018-19 is “India RISE: Responsible. Inclusive. Sustainable,” and is aligned with the sustainability agenda.
At the launch, CII also launched the report – Indian Solutions for the World to Achieve SDGs. The report deep-dives into each of the SDGs, targets and business implications thereof. The report cites examples that illustrate how companies have incorporated the SDGs framework into their business strategy.
Recently, NITI Aayog submitted a draft cabinet note that calls for developing a strategy to scale-up transformative mobility and encourage the use of zero emissions vehicles and ancillary technology.