32 Businesses Meet to Accelerate India’s Industrial Transition and Transport Decarbonization – WBCSD

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Mumbai, India, 24 June 2024: The CEOs and C-level executives of 32 forward-thinking companies convened during the inaugural World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) India Connect event in Mumbai and agreed to collectively address industrial greenhouse gases emissions and accelerate market readiness of hydrogen development and road freight decarbonization.

As part of WBCSD’s Industrial Transformation Pathway (ITP) initiatives, aligned with the Breakthrough Agenda priorities for the Road and Power sectors, the events outlined integrated solutions for accelerating India’s industrial transition in hard-to-abate sectors.

Corporate leaders highlighted the progress in scaling up of renewable energy technologies and their increasing techno-commercial viability for industrial decarbonization. Currently, industry accounts for 39% of India’s total final energy consumption, which collectively contributes to around 70% of the total CO2 emissions from India’s steel, aluminum, cement, petrochemicals, and ammonia.

Energy and material efficiency remain the first priority while continuing to adopt viable low-carbon energy solutions, including scaling up of solar, wind, energy storage, and biomass-based solutions along with adoption of low-carbon hydrogen irrespective of its colors. To increase the adoption of clean energy sources for industrial decarbonization and achieve industrial net-zero emissions targets, corporate leaders suggested the following actions:

  1. Demand aggregation to scale up utilization of energy storage, green hydrogen and its derivatives including green methanol and green ammonia through industrial corridors to reduce costs of operation and optimize utilization.
  2. Collective business push for a uniform carbon price to assure benefits from adopting low-carbon energy solutions that may not be commercially viable in their early phases of deployment.
  3. Showcase success of as-a-service business models to increase awareness of commercially viable application of low-carbon energy solutions and inspire action and collaboration across value chain for increased adoption.

Specifically on the road transport, the ITP seeks to reduce global transport emissions in line with a +1.5°C climate scenario by promoting the rapid adoption of zero-emission technologies and fostering system-level climate solutions through collective action.

In India, the objective is to allow for 40% of medium and heavy-duty vehicles sales to be zero emission by 2050, to achieve the country objective of carbon emissions in 2070, as pursued by the E-FAST coalition. Companies participating in the event identified the opportunity to create zero-emission road freight corridors and acknowledged the urgency of making electric trucks and their associated charging infrastructure viable by 2030. They listed the following actions:

  1. Strengthen ZEV freight market demand signals: Building on the momentum from the G20 and Clean Energy Ministerial events in Goa, where 15 leading companies signalled demand for 7,700 electric trucks by 2030 in India, large fleet owners will use their procurement power to aim for 15,000 e-trucks demand this year.
  2. Create a charging infrastructure taskforce, whichwill leverage digital tools to optimize the location and operational planning of public and private charging infrastructure, ensuring higher utilization rates and lower emissions during operations. Additionally, these tools will assist in planning the necessary distribution grid investments.
  3. Prepare for the launch of the India e-truck finance initiative to develop viable business models and financing strategies that can address the upfront costs of adopting zero-emission technologies and the uncertainties surrounding battery resale value. The initiative will design innovative financing facilities and implement risks mitigation mechanisms, such as payment security, electricity cost guarantees, and recommend industry and financial policies.
  4. Compile policy recommendations and enable industry consultations: Businesses will compile a comprehensive set of recommendations to support the widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles and associated charging infrastructure.

Transport is the main contributor to carbon dioxide emissions and accounts for 14% of energy-related direct CO2 emissions and is one of the fastest growing emissions sectors in the country.

When it comes to road freight, which is the predominant mode of goods movement in India, it accounts for 64 percent of the nation’s diesel consumption and contributes to 34 percent of road transport emissions. The Zero-Emission Vehicle Emerging Markets Initiative (ZEV-EMI), a key component of WBCSD Industrial Transformation Pathway, aims to tackle this challenge through its India Partnership by uniting the ecosystem and accelerate investments into decarbonization of the road transport.

Jayant Acharya, Managing Director and CEO, JSW Steel, said: Irrespective the colour of hydrogen, its role in the industrial decarbonization is gaining importance and therefore collaboration across industries is essential to scale its impact effectively. By working together, we can accelerate the progressive adoption of green hydrogen through early demonstration with adequate policy support and drive significant progress towards a sustainable, low-carbon future.

E R Raj Narayanan, Business Head & Chief Manufacturing Officer, UltraTech Cement Limited (Aditya Birla Group), said: Decarbonizing logistics in the cement industry is a critical step towards achieving our sustainability goals. By implementing pilot projects and leveraging innovative technologies, we are working to reduce emissions and set a precedent for the entire sector. Collaborative efforts in these pilots will pave the way for scalable solutions, driving significant environmental and economic benefits.

Shunichi Ko, Executive Director of Global Solution Business Group, Fujitsu, said: Digital collaboration and data-sharing are crucial for optimizing planning and investments in charging infrastructure. By leveraging real-time data and insights, we can strategically identify key infrastructure corridors and ensure efficient deployment of resources. This collaborative approach not only accelerates the transition to zero-emission transport but also builds a robust foundation for sustainable growth and innovation in the sector.

For more information, please contact: Gunay Huseynalizadeh at huseynalizadeh@wbcsd.org.

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