Resource Efficiency Policies and Initiatives Can Ensure Sustainability for India

Continuously depleting natural resources pose a great threat to the world as its population continues to rise. Starvation, lack of energy, and important requirements to sustain life throughout the world has made it obvious that current consumption and production patterns are unsustainable. Focus on manufacturing and management of resources is extremely important to maintain life on Earth; otherwise the threat surrounding us would lead to further inequities. Management of lifecycle of resources, from their extraction to consumption and eventually disposal of waste has to be efficient to create and maintain sustainability of life as we know it.

Although, worldwide changes are being seen that surface necessities and align with the requirements of sustainability, not always they lead to expected results. And since managing resources is a global commitment- countries failing to create, establish and follow the process result in limiting global environment improvement. The only way to remedy the situation is cross country collaboration and development of understanding between policy and businesses within a country.

How Can Resource Efficiency Help?

Developing policies and business practices to have minimal impact on environment can also lead to adoption of resource efficient practices that can help in integrating circular economy methods. Reuse of waste would gain efficiency and responsible management system would allow countries to save millions and billions by reducing expenses and import requirement.

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Government of India’s step towards solarizing the country is indeed an inspiring and decisive step to revolutionize energy generation and usage. The country has also announced plans of embedding resource efficiency and circular economy in initiatives and polices such as- Smart Cities, Swach Bharat, Zero Effect-Zero Defect Scheme, Ganga Rejuvenation Mission, Make in India etc, which will save resources and expenses.

How Is India Working Towards Resource Management?

NITI Aayog has joined hands with European Union delegation and released strategy on resource efficiency, which is supposed to help develop circular economy that will translate into sustainable development of the country. The strategy showcases action plans involving-

  • Manufacturing capacity development
  • Institutional development
  • Sharing of best practices
  • Development of an indicator monitoring framework
  • R&D and Technology Development
  • Waste-exchange platform

These processes will support sustainable public procurement, development of industrial clusters, and information sharing & awareness generation, saving money and leading to a better developed country.

However, to operationalize strategies for resource efficiency, India needs to create and follow sectoral policies in investment, education, innovation, trade, and skills development that can support resource efficiency development.

Why Policies Are Needed?

Policies are needed to facilitate the resource efficiency processes within the management supply chain of businesses. Strategies cannot deliver result unless businesses develop resource management processes within their existing framework. In order to do that, businesses often need financial support to accept and adopt large scale efforts towards waste management and efficient resource handling. Lack of technological infrastructure also hinders businesses in following the strategies prescribed the Government. In such cases, policies facilitating support can help. It is also important to improve the economic analysis of efficient resource management.

The Way Forward

Evolving consumerism has urged rapid changes in product and service generation. India has done a marvellous job in energy generation and management by selecting solar. However, rethinking the resource management processes and effectively incorporating processes that will focus on resource usage, increasing exports, and reducing forex outflow is needed.

 

http://wsds.teriin.org/imperatives-operationalizing-resource-efficiency.php

 

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Joining Hands to Protect Water: A Move That Can Result In Climate Restoration

In development of a country, using and protecting the natural resources plays a major part. To change the climate from going through drastic negative changes the world has readily accepted solar. However, it is also important for a country to focus towards protecting its water resources to support its economic growth while ensuring sustainability. Within Asia, India and its south Asian neighbours are blessed with huge reserves of natural water. However, due to lack of an infrastructure to distribute the water carefully and equally, the countries still suffer from scarcity of water from time to time. Statistics show that availability of water per capita in India has reduced by almost 70% since 1950. And while move towards industrialisation and economic development has gained importance, population growth and inefficiency in water use has resulted into water scarcity in regions.

Global Scenario

Research statistics show that increasing stress and degradation of climate mainly due to fossil fuel combustion, is affecting economic growth of South Asia, and seems to be leading to prolonged water scarcity in the near future.

The United Nation has recognized protection and efficient use of water as an important goal to establish and maintain sustainable development. The World leaders are starting to understand that setting a dedicated global goal for water is a necessity now, because water is a global resource and even if one country is left out of the development process, it will have negative impacts on the sustainability of the climate, which the whole world shares.

The developed and developing countries are banding together to create an international cooperation for saving the water resources for the global good. Information, methods are being shared and investments are being made to support better water harvesting, wastewater treatment, recycling, and sanitation-related activities and programmes. Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations have set a timeline of 2030 to incorporate changes that can assure climate sustainability and allow developing and developed countries alike to initiate economic development initiatives without hindrance.

Joining Hands and Resolving Disputes

There are 12 major river systems and a number of small rivers that go through India. And as the country is agrarian in nature, the demand of water is very high. Lack of technical competence to efficiently use the water doesn’t seem to satisfy the requirements thus creating an unnecessary demand for more of it. The similar scenario is seen in the neighbourhood countries of India, which leads to disputes for claim on the water.

India is moving towards the right way by choosing solar. Renewable energy shift can revolutionize India’s energy scenario and bring in socio-economic growth. However, to complete the transition, India also needs to focus on its use of natural resources as well. Developing an efficient water management is very important to ensure water security and also to share the natural resource to other countries.

Inter-sectoral water cooperation is also necessary as it can help the country understand the best way to divide the water into different sectors such as- Agriculture, Construction, Mining, Energy and Industry. Efficient usage and water protection rights will stop it from being misused or wasted.

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Solar Has Made It Easier

Conventional energy generation process uses a lot of water (1.90 liters/kWh for Coal, and 1.60 liters/kWh for oil, and 2.30 liters/kWh for generating energy from Nuclear). And besides using up water, the kilotons of toxic waste produced by the conventional power plants annually contaminate rest of the water sources.

In this scenario, choosing solar as the mainstream energy source can win the battle for climate improvement, as it is a water free energy generation system. Additionally, solar can make it easier to send water to the cities, states or even countries which are in need of it by reducing cost of pumping water through solar water pumping solutions.

So, it seems that India is standing upon the perfect opportunity to not just better its socio-economic progress, impacting climate a positive way, the country can inspire other developing and developed countries to establish sustainability through protecting and efficient use of natural resources.

 

http://wsds.teriin.org/water-cooperation.php

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Investment in Fossil Fuels Is Investment in a World of Fumes

Renewable energy investment ($ 286 bn) surpassed investment in coal and gas ($ 130 bn) in 2015-16 and estimated to amount to $333 bn in 2018-19. Not just the developed countries, but developing countries like Brazil, Philippines, Mexico, Turkey, Chile, Africa, and India are focusing on renewable energy to phase out fossil fuels. Solar has obviously become the world favourite in a short span of time, showcasing its feasibility, low maintenance, prolonged lifespan and easy to install attributes.

The Looming Threat

It is important to note that oil and gas investment in 2016 was close to $ 522 bn, although it was down from 2015’s investment ($ 595 bn), it was still higher than renewables. Therefore, it is apparent that to push out fossil fuels, which is not just an option but a necessity now, the world would require more effort and aggressive investment initiatives.

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Anti-Dumping Duty on Imported Solar Glass: Another Hurdle for India Solar Sector

India reaching ~20 GW in solar capacity in 2018 from less than 3 GW in 2014 highlights a trend that has received ample support from Government of India and private players both. Precise and well-timed decisions to build a policy environment, increasing finance choices, and encouragement to entrepreneurs have helped this happen. However, recent investigation on imported textured, tempered glass (used to manufacture solar modules) imported from Malaysia by India’s Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) does not appear as an act favourable towards Indian solar growth.

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Restoring Air Quality: Necessary Framework Needed

 

Consistently deteriorating air quality is a serious issue brought on by fossil fuel usage. Not only developing countries but, even developed countries cannot seem to get out of this bind, since they share the environment with rest of the world. Cities of the world that are spewing most of the fumes are- Zabol (Iran), Gwalior (India), Allahabad (India), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Al Jubail (Saudi Arabia) etc. Within 2016, 6.5 million people suffered and lost their lives due to air pollution and contaminants. Increasing air pollution has great impact on children as well, which is clearly indicated through the raise in children mortality rate (stood at 1.7 million in 2016).

Global Scenario

Global relative losses of wheat due to air pollutants is estimated to be 7%–12% and reducing in rice production stands at 3%–4%. Cities like Los Angeles, and London have also suffered from increasing sir pollution during 1940–1960. However, USA has made great strides in changing the scenario for its cities and created regulatory framework, institutional mechanisms, and policy interventions that have proven to bring down pollution easily.

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