As India unveils its relief and recovery packages in response to the COVID pandemic crisis, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a leading think tank dedicated to conducting research for sustainable development of India and the Global South, along with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) held a webinar titled ‘Greening the Economic Recovery in India’ on May 14, 2020.
The recommendations included building-in green growth principles of inclusivity and environmental sustainability into recovery and revival packages — in which innovations and mainstreaming in the domain of extended producer responsibility, sustainable finance, green skills and green entrepreneurship, consumer awareness and market development will be very important in this context.
Rather than focusing on individual cash infusions without fundamental reforms, the webinar focused on moving forward from relief measures with a focus on thematic aspects such as sectoral interventions, financing, technology collaborations and regulatory and policy alignments that support a green recovery. The present COVID-19 crises offers an opportunity to leverage fundamental changes in decision-making at the policy level, such as better inter-agency coordination, considering sustainable development goals in state and national budgeting. There is an opportunity particularly to use economic measures to create new, green jobs through appropriate targeting to promote renewables, waste management, sustainable cold chains, resource efficiency and natural-capital based activities in rural areas. Fiscal stimulus and government spending in green sectors, such as renewable energy, can boost a green recovery path through demand creation while creating employments. In this context, PAGE was mentioned by Stephan Contius, the Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda within the German Federal Environment Ministry, as an important multi-stakeholder mechanism for enabling contributions towards green economic recovery.
PAGE India’s National Coordinator participated in the webinar as a panellist. The webinar was attended by, inter alia, Ajay Mathur (Director General, TERI) who is also a member of the PAGE National Steering Committee; Shantanu Gotmare (India Country Representative, GGGI); Stephan Contius (Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, German Federal Environment Ministry); Henriette Faergemann (Counsellor, European Union Delegation to India); Ashish Chaturvedi (Director-Climate Change, Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit); senior Government of India officials representing the ministries of Finance, MSME, Rural Development and New and Renewable Energy; representative of industry, academia and policy-advocacy groups.