India’s Road to COP26 Summit calls on Indian businesses to act fast on climate

Two weeks after World Earth Day and the US Climate Action Week,  Indian businesses came together to demonstrate their ambition and commitment to climate change at the India’s Road to COP26 Summit. Hosted by the Climate Group, in partnership with  the UK Government (which holds the Presidency of COP26) and Customized Energy Solutions,  the summit sought to ensure concrete steps are being taken by Indian companies towards  mitigating carbon emissions and co-building resilient systems of clean energy, transport and  industrial efficiency.  

Divya Sharma, India Executive Director, Climate Group, said, “India is facing unprecedented  times with the new wave of the pandemic. We understand that the path to recovery will be a big  task for the country, and a massive investment of resources will be required to transform systems  and build resilience across sectors. We will have to do all of this while other challenges, such as  climate change, call for urgent action. It is in times like these that renewed commitments and  forging action-oriented, powerful partnerships becomes crucial.” 

Dr Rahul Walawalkar, President and MD of Customized Energy Solutions (India) said, “We  need to strive to move towards deep decarbonisation across electric grid, transportation as well  as industrial sector to help address the climate change risks within this decade. The economics  of renewables are undeniable. We see energy storage as an enabler for both greener grid and  electric transportation. Green hydrogen and storage together can also help us achieve similar  decarbonisation for industrial sectors like steel, fertilizers, petrochemicals, and cement.” 

Strengthening capacities and amplifying voices 

The summit was attended by Minister Prakash Javadekar of the Ministry of Environment, Forest  and Climate Change and Dr John Murton, UK’s COP26 Envoy emphasising efforts to build  capacities, access cutting-edge technologies and amplify diverse voices in India’s journey to  meeting its climate goals under the Paris Agreement.  

With global attention now on India, the third largest carbon emitter, and one of the fastest-growing  economies in the world, business action to support climate change is key to enabling India to step  up its ambition on its NDC and align with a trajectory of 1.5°C, setting India on an ambitious  decarbonisation path for the next decade. 

Leading cement companies become Climate Group’s first triple joiners in India 

Dalmia Cement and JSW Cement – two leading Indian cement companies – have committed to  the Climate Group’s flagship business initiatives on climate change. Dalmia Cement committed to EV100, alongside their previous commitments to RE100 and EP100, while JSW Cement, today  committed to all three business campaigns – RE100, EP100 and EV100 – in one go.  

Globally, no heavy industry company has before now committed to all three of Climate Group’s  business initiatives. The triple commitment from Dalmia Cement and JSW Cement is a significant  moment for Indian business, underlining their leadership on climate change and increased  ambition despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic.  

Speaking on the initiative, Mahendra Singhi, MD & CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited  said, “We are delighted to extend our commitment to Climate Group’s EV100 campaign. By  joining EV100, we have now become a triple joiner of the Climate Group’s business initiatives  including RE100, EP100 and EV100, thus sending powerful signals to the global manufacturing  space. We are fully convinced that restricting and avoiding CO2 emissions from vehicles, energy  sourcing and industrial manufacturing will make a great impact on the environment. We are  committed to supporting our climate and business philosophy ‘Clean & Green is Profitable and  Sustainable’. This has helped make us one of the lowest carbon footprint cement producers and  one of the most profitable cement company in India.” 

Nilesh Narwekar, CEO, JSW Cement Ltd, said, “We believe in the power of commitment, in the  power of cooperation and in the power of change. Equipping ourselves with these, we begin our  fight against climate change.” 

As part of Dalmia Cement and JSW Cement’s EV100 commitment, both companies have made  an exceptional voluntary commitment to electrify a portion of their heavy-duty vehicles (vehicles  weighing more than 7.5 tons) going above and beyond the minimum commitment criteria of  EV100. This is a testimony to extraordinary leadership in a market that is difficult for electrifying  transport, driving demand and opening up markets for heavy-duty electric vehicles in India.