The private sector in India is playing an increasingly important role in climate change policy. This development is supported by the Global Carbon Market project, the main aim of which is to enhance market-based mechanisms expertise among decision makers in the public and private sectors through a wide range of activities.
As part of these capacity building activities, a webinar entitled “Voluntary Carbon Market Opportunity for Green Startups in India” was organised on 29 October 2020 in order to promote the role of green startups on the voluntary carbon market. The event was organised together with the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a Government of India’s initiative to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. The webinar was initiated by Ms. Mallika Bhasin, followed by presentations from Mr. Jai Kumar Gaurav and Mr. Kundan Burnwal from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The presentations provided an introduction to the functioning of carbon markets and highlighted the opportunities the voluntary carbon market may provide for green startups in India. The event showed that participation in the voluntary carbon markets can help green startups access additional revenue through the sale of voluntary carbon credits. Another benefit identified was that this engagement can also help attract investors and customers as green startups would be able to quantify their mitigation impact. The Global Carbon Market project in the past has also organized training programs for green start-ups in partnership with state innovation societies and organizations responsible for promoting start-ups in the state of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Tamil Nadu. Building on the success of these activities, the new partnership with AIM will help reach out to incubators and green start-ups across India.
Another focus area of the Global Carbon Market project in India is to enhance capacities of Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) on carbon markets and carbon pricing. In October 2019, the Global Carbon Market project entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), an apex organization for building capacities of PSEs. The goal of this cooperation is to support PSEs in the endeavour to address climate change and incorporate climate considerations into their business strategies. Until now, the policy discourse around PSEs has been primarily to improve their economic performance and not so much about their role in mitigating climate change. Indian PSEs contributed to over 13% of India’s GDP with CSR expenditure amounting to USD 553 million and providing employment to 1.5 million people in the financial year 2019. At the same time, however, Indian PSEs are among the companies with the highest CO2 emissions. The role of these PSEs in reducing GHG emissions will therefore be of paramount importance to make meaningful progress towards meeting India’s climate goals. The Global Carbon Market project and its partners will continue supporting PSEs in this endeavour through trainings and other capacity building support activities.