By committing an economy to a 1 billion tonne reduction in predicted carbon emissions by 2030, India’s net zero objective for 2070 clearly demonstrates the intention to undertake decarbonisation.We might be well on our way to attaining net-zero emissions by 2070, however a lot is required to be done.The inter-sectoral contributions of states, industry, and companies will be essential in accomplishing this aim, even though this lays out a clear path for India to take. Anup Garg, Founder, and Director, World of Circular Economy (WOCE), shares his insights on where India stands today, what needs to be done and how WOCE is contributing towards the net-zero India mission.
- What are the main challenges that the Indian industry faces vis a vis clean energy transition?
There are three key challenges: –
- Reducing reliance on Coal for Power Generation: Currently, Coal accounts for more than 70% of the power generation in India. Further, the energy demand continues to rise due to the growth in the country’s population and economy in the years ahead.
- Financing for building large assets: India’s giant target of 450 GW by 2030 needs a capacity commissioning rate of 35-40 GW annually with an annual investment of US35-40 Billion in generation, transmission and storage assets.
- Bringing behavioural change amongst masses: Implementation of lifestyle changes is important to promote green living. As of 2022, India’s population is 1.4 billion and a small lifestyle change can have a huge impact.
- How important will the oil, gas, and steel sectors be in decarbonisation?
Directly or indirectly the oil and gas industry accounts for 42% of global emissions, while the steel industry accounts for 7% of the global emissions. Thus, making them responsible for more than 50% of global emissions and hence they are good candidates for decarbonisation.
India emissions for 2020 have been 2.44 billion tonnes. These emissions are dominated by burning of fossil fuels such as coal (1.59 billion tonnes) , oil (602.67 million tonnes) and gas (126.98 million tonnes). So with decarbonisation of oil & gas, our reliance on coal needs to eliminated.
With respect to steel, India is currently the world’s 2nd largest steel producer and production of steel is set to increase significantly over the next few decades to meet the increasing domestic and international demand. Currently emissions due to steel production is estimated to be 12% of India’s emissions (i.e. 293 million).
Thus, controlling the emissions by these three sectors will unquestionably help in decarbonisation.
- What is expected of the government towards decarbonisation journey mission 2070?
India’s net zero commitment by 2070 will require achievement of the near-term goals starting with 2030 renewables target. India’s total renewable energy capacity stands at 110 GW (as of April 2022) and India stands committed to add 500 GW of non-fossil energy capacity by 2030. So realisation of 2030 renewable energy target will be a milestone not to be missed if India were to stay on track for 2070 net zero goal.
In parallel, it is critical for India to form regulatory frameworks and policies to create a robust carbon market in India like Europe & US Cap & Trade programmes. The policy can start with carbon intensive sectors and then gradually can be extended to other sectors such as cement and metals.
- How is WOCE approaching the energy transition?
Since the inception of the company, our priority was to release the CarbonBook app which is now complete. Now we are building the SaaS offering for MSMEs to report their scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions. While we are expanding our business offerings we are actively engaged in signing up partnerships with sustainable marketplace vendors to foster green living culture.
- How can you contribute in decarbonisation? What has been done so far?
Organizations are committing to be net zero by 2050 but very few are walking the talk. Our goal is to offer solutions that would enable organizations and individuals to first measure the emissions and then take actions to offset them, followed by continuous monitoring to ensure they are on track to achieve the net zero goal.
As of now, we have released a free version of CarbonBook for individuals which is step 1 to make people aware of their individual footprint and now we are planning to partner with academic institutions to roll out the product, get feedback and provide an upgraded version in the new year 2023 with new features.
- What is this CarbonBook App? How it works?
CarbonBook is a sustainability and carbon accounting solution for individuals and institutions. It enables individuals to capture, calculate and offset carbon footprint. In addition, it acts as an aggregator for all sustainable products to promote green living. It comes in two versions, one is a free version for individual carbon accounting and the second version is licensed, which is built for organisations who want to track scope emissions of its employees. Carbon book now is available on AppStore and PlayStore.
The CarbonBook app is the beginning of the process to change the mindset and bring consciousness that sustainability is not an option but will be a way of life, we all will lead!
- How it works?
It has five simple steps/modules: –
- Registration- which is OTP (one-time password) enabled.
- Capture- to track your daily activities such as travel (by car, rail, air, bike, train), food, home energy consumption (gas & electricity), and home waste.
- Calculate- this gives an insight into your daily and monthly emissions over time.
- Offset- gives an option to offset by investing in green projects.
- Marketplace- gives an option to buy sustainable products from our marketplace partners.
- Could you share details about the user base and what are your future predictions for it?
The app just went live on AppStore in August and the Android version got released in September. So, it is too early to make any predictions for the time to come. But people must understand that there is a strong need for lifestyle changes to accelerate India’s journey to net zero and thus, we launched CarbonBook and now we are working on GHG reporting solutions for enterprises which is expected to go live by end of this year.
- How are you looking to diversify your portfolio vis a vis Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions?
Apart from CarbonBook and Carbon Certificate Management Solutions, currently, we have built solutions for industry segments such as oil & gas, logistics, restaurants, enterprise HR, and hospitality. Now we are working to create a SaaS based offering for MSME sector to enable them to report scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions.
- What is the core philosophy of the startup? What makes it unique from other players, who are already present in the space (Competitors)
Our philosophy is simple: “What cannot be measured, cannot be managed”. Our ‘KIS’ (Keep it Simple) approach makes us unique and our two years of rigorous research on algorithms to calculate emissions differentiates us from our competitors. As an example our algorithm for computing emissions for someone using Carbon Book App in US, UK and India, will calculate different emissions based on location.