Issue 5 | November 2015

In this Issue

The year 2015 has been pivotal for global action on climate change. In September, 193 countries unanimously adopted the Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty by 2030 and pursue a sustainable future. In addition, the ongoing 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) is extremely significant to cap global warming at 2° Celsius compared to pre-Industrial Revolution levels by 2100. With the presence of almost 150 Heads of State at the opening ceremony and senior negotiators from around the world, COP21 is full of optimism and purpose. We hope by the end of the negotiations at COP21, the world will have a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a sustainable future.

TERI NA Alert aims to showcase a glimpse of TERI NA's achievements in 2015 and highlights TERI's role at COP21.


Strengthening India's vision to act on climate change, TERI has organized several consultations in the run-up to the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) with sector experts and corporate leaders. In continuance of its efforts, TERI is hosting several events in Paris, (on the sidelines of COP21) with the aim of disseminating knowledge and brainstorming possible solutions to the growing climate challenge.

Delhi to Paris: Corporate Vision on Climate Change
Reinforcing India's Commitments
Delhi to Paris: Corporate Vision on Climate Change is a mega initiative of TERI's Council for Business Sustainability (TERI CBS). Guided by business members, it aims to be the Indian Corporate Vision on the various aspects of tackling climate change and align this Vision to the Government of India schemes. The initiative subtitled Reinforcing India's Commitments focuses on four pressing themes that are of utmost importance to achieve a low-carbon and climate resilient future - Improving the Efficiency of Energy Use; Expanding the Use of Renewable Energy; Ensure Water Availability in a Changing Climate and Efficient Waste Management.

TERI CBS conducted corporate consultations with over 200 companies to analyze corporate India's best practices, current interventions and scope for improvement. Of these companies, sixty organizations submitted comprehensive case studies on these themes, which have been analyzed by TERI experts and presented in a comprehensive document that will be launched at the COP21 in Paris.

TERI CBS also hosted a National Seminar as a prelude to the discussions at COP21 in November. The National Seminar was a platform for leading corporates to come together to discuss Corporate India's experiences, best practices, current interventions and scope for improvement; thereby strengthening India's position to tackle climate change on global platform. The National Seminar was graced with the presence of Mr Suresh Prabhu, Hon'ble Minister for Railways, Mr Prakash Javadekar, Hon'ble Minister of State (I/C) for Environment, Forestry and Climate Change and HE Francois Richier, Ambassador of France to India.

TERI will be hosting the following events during the COP21 in Paris:
  1. Session: India Energy Dialogue

    Date: December 8, 2015

    Venue: Climate Generation Area (Adjacent to Le Bourget - Official COP21 Site), Paris

    Panelists will deliberate on the role corporates can play to catalyze positive action on energy efficiency and renewable energy for dealing with climate change.

  2. Session: Reinforcing India's Commitments

    Date: December 9, 2015

    Venue: l'Espace Fondation EDF, 6 Rue Recamier, Paris

    Taking cue from the Indian Government's policies towards a 35 per cent emission cut by 2030 and potential for new business opportunities, panelists will deliberate on the focus areas - energy efficiency, renewable energy, water and waste management along with accelerated technology transfer.

  3. Session: Global Climate Action: Perspectives on Major Energy Initiatives - United States, India and China*

    Date: December 10, 2015

    Venue: Le Bourget, Paris

    Leading policymakers from China, India and the United States will discuss major climate initiatives from a multi-stakeholder perspective - including a coal consumption cap in China, expansive renewable energy growth and energy efficiency measures in India, and the Clean Power Plan in the United States of America.

    *Prior UNFCCC Registration is mandatory

For more information: click here

Other TERI events at COP21
Data & Values, Science, Politics and Mechanisms: Ambition and impact of INDCs and the Global Deal
Date: 4 December
Venue: Room 3, Le Bourget - Blue Zone, Paris

This official side event will present trans-disciplinary insights and quantitative assessments of the ambition and comparability of INDCs of different countries, and their aggregated impact on achieving the 2°C target. The equity and 'fairness' of the submitted INDCs will be analyzed, with reference to the criteria that India in particular and developing countries in general have been arguing for, namely:

  • Historical Responsibility: Compare the INDC impact for 1990-2030 against 1950-1990 period (40 year time frame) of developed and developing countries as group and USA, EU, Japan, China, India, Brazil and South Africa
  • Equal per capita emissions: Compare per capita emissions in 1990 and 2030 of developed and developing countries as group and USA, EU, Japan, China, India, Brazil and South Africa
  • National development priorities / Poverty: Compare the proportion of number of people living below global poverty line in a country with claimed carbon budget through INDCs by countries
  • Respective capabilities/ real opportunities: Compare select countries in terms of the technological capabilities, real opportunities and feasibility of transformation required by their respective INDCs
Galvanizing the Post-2015 Groundswell of Climate Actions
Date: 7 December 2015
Venue: Hotel Bel Ami, 7 Rue Saint-Benoit, 75006 Paris, France
Partners: The Stanley Foundation, Galvanizing Groundswell of Climate Action (GGCA), German Development Institute (DIE) and TERI

If COP21 is to be a decisive step towards a low-carbon and climate resilient future, the groundswell of climate actions will have to continue to grow in the pre-2020 period. This workshop will discuss the past, present, and future of the groundswell of climate actions: What has happened on the road to Paris?; What do we know about the current groundswell?; What is the future of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda?; How do the groundswell and national climate policies (in particular the INDCs) reinforce each other?; and, how can climate actions deliver on sustainable development, particularly in developing countries? The workshop will convene a wide range of stakeholders representing cities, corporations, regions, and other sub- and non-state actors, to discuss these questions, and to take the groundswell of climate actions forward to 2020 and beyond.
US-India Energy Partnership Summit 2015

"It's pretty obvious this year is a big one in terms of clean energy and the environment. We are heading to the Paris meetings this year and in my view it's going to be clean energy technology innovation that underpins our collective ability to address climate change", Ernest Moniz, US Secretary of Energy at the sixth US-India Energy Partnership Summit.

Indian and American policy makers, opinion leaders, business leaders and professionals from academia came together at the sixth US-India Energy Partnership Summit in Washington DC. The eminent speakers exchanged insights and formulated action on US-India partnership to achieve a low-carbon economic growth. Through three Thematic Tracks and a High Level Corporate Dialogue, the Summit addressed various issues related to expanding the use of renewable energy, improving energy efficiency and clean coal technology, and reaffirmed ties between the two nations.

Improving the Efficiency of Energy Use Deliberations in this session focused on the challenges of policymaking and enforcement; awareness generation; long-term investments for India's Smart City program and the role of different stakeholders who must be part of any dialogue on this subject. The probable solutions identified included ensuring disclosure and transparency in measurement and verification of energy usage; awareness building among users by providing information in an easily understandable manner; and integration of grids and coordination between municipal authorities to ensure the sustainability of smart cities.

The need for consensus on energy performance between Governments, investors, building owners and building operators was also identified as a necessity for the success of energy efficiency measures.

Renewable Energy and Financing Clean Energy The session stressed on how renewable technology can help countries leapfrog conventional technologies in a very positive way. Continued reliance on coal will entail bigger infrastructural facilities like ports and railroads. Investments in renewables were encouraged as they are cleaner and efficient and at the same time ensure lesser usage of modes of transportation that are not.

The countless opportunities for US-India collaboration in technology innovation, institution building and financial mechanisms for promotion of renewable energy on a large scale were discussed as also the benefits of introduction of better technology and easy availability of finance such as green bonds, revolving funds and credit enhancement mechanisms in lowering the cost of renewable energy and making it affordable.

Carbon Capture, Commoditization and Utilization The benefits of carbon capture and utilization and its ability to arrest global warming and mitigate the effects of climate change were discussed. China and India have an abundance of coal and can be expected to set up additional infrastructure to produce energy from the cheap resource in the near future which would eat into the carbon budget the world has of staying on the safe path of a 2°C rise in planetary temperature.

Therefore, the principle of carbon capture, utilization and storage assumes urgency. However, it is critical that this technology be developed in an effective and safe manner. Regulatory safeguards must be in place to ensure that this does not lead to associated stresses of water availability and water quality.

High Level Corporate Dialogue The year 2015 is pivotal with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) being adopted and each country submitting their respective Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). The High Level Corporate Dialogue (HLCD) at the sixth US-India Energy Partnership Summit focused on ways the corporate sector can leverage from and fast-track the SDGs and the country specific INDCs. The HLCD aimed to delineate challenges and associated opportunities for businesses in both US and India. It is necessary to enhance existing as well as new initiatives to maximize the impact and contribute significantly towards tackling climate change. With the presence and participation of business leaders and policy makers, the HLCD focused on harnessing new sources of information and identifying ways of engaging with various stakeholders.

For more information: click here
Young Sustainability Leaders Fellowship
To commemorate its 25th anniversary, TERI North America instituted the Young Sustainability Leaders Fellowship (YSLF). The Fellowship provides American students an opportunity to study environmental issues in India, making them more aware of challenges faced in the developing world. The ultimate aim of the Fellowship is to shape the leaders of tomorrow and work towards a more sustainable future.

The first recipient of TERI North America's YSLF, Ms Dhara L Kothavala, a PhD student from Arizona State University, completed her Fellowship in the Social Transformation division at TERI India. The primary focus of Ms Kothavala's Fellowship research was on TERI's flagship initiative, Lighting a Billion Lives (LaBL) and she provided planning and advisory input on the programme. This included areas of potential future programmatic emphasis for sustainable energy access and economic opportunity in rural areas, in the context of capacity building for sustainable energy policy and finance readiness in Asia and Africa. TERI North America received an initiation grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to commence this Fellowship.

The themes of the YSLF include, but are not limited to, Green Buildings, Sustainable Transport, Water Management, Biofuels and Rural Energy. The Fellowship is open to American graduate students and young executives from the corporate sector to inculcate in them, sustainable decision making. TERI NA is also extending the Fellowship to numerous universities and institutions including Stanford University and Indiana University.

For more information: click here

Season's Greetings from TERI NA

TERI NA wishes its readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. As TERI NA celebrates its 25th anniversary, we offer our sincerest gratitude for your generous support over the past years.

Our best wishes for a prosperous and peaceful New Year.