The institute organised a Policy Roundtable on “Green Industrialisation in India: Potential, Challenges and Policies” on April 5, 2022. The distinguished panel was moderated by Prof Nagesh Kumar. The presentations were made by Prof Kelly S Gallagher, Director, Climate Policy Lab, The Fletcher School, Tufts University and Dr E J Narassimhan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School. The presentations were followed by a discussion among panellists comprising Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, Delhi; Dr Tilman Altenburg, German Development Institute, Bonn; Prof Ambuj Sagar, Head, School of Public Policy, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi; and, Mr René Van Berkel, Director, Regional Office in India, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
The presentation made by Prof Gallagher and Dr Narassimhan opened up the key challenges that India faces in the near future by aiming to accelerate structural change towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy. The presentation elaborated on the critical role of policy in the transition towards green economy; particularly underlying opportunities where India has the potential to design polices to develop technologies that will help in developing more green and sustainable pathways. A comparison with China, however, pointed out the weak industrial performance of India, particularly, investments in clean technologies; what the Chinese case offers to the laggards is exemplary. Discussants also added several points in terms of opportunities and challenges. Dr Ghosh mentioned that given the weak industrial performance in the past, strengthening general industrial policy along with green policy could be a good option; further development of new and clean technologies could be a part of clean innovation or new policy of science and technology. Prof Sagar had similar concern vis-à-vis lack of investments in R&D would be a key challenge in the pursuit of green economy, but encouraging new entrepreneurship, MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), and public institutions along international cooperation on green agenda can be taken forward. In sum, discussants agreed on India’s potential to turn challenges into opportunities as Dr Altenburg highlighted that India has high potential to invest in metro rail projects and clean energy in the housing sectors. Mr Berkel also agreed upon how countries all over the world, including India, have prioritised the green path in the post-pandemic era, aiming for inclusive and sustainable development.