How Expensive Is It to Tackle The Climate Crisis In India?

WhyOnEarth logo mobEditor’s Note: Are you bothered by the drastic changes in our climate, causing extreme weather events and calamities such as the Kerala Floods? #WhyOnEarth aims to take the truth to the people with stories, experiences, opinions and revelations about the climate change reality that you should know, and act on. Have a story to share? Click here and publish.

While the conversation on climate change is slowly becoming a part of our lives, how difficult and expensive is it to tackle the problem of climate change?

With implications for social ecosystems, demand and supply of goods and the sustenance of corporate profitability, tackling climate change poses a major business case now. Stakeholders have recognised this, resulting in a louder discourse on solutions for climate issues. The scientific community is working to validate solutions, while the finance community is looking at alternative funding models.

Climate finance is critical to tackling the issues posed by climate change, and to achieve the goal of limiting the rise in earth’s average temperature, below 2-degree Celsius, over pre-industrial levels, something the 2018 IPCC report has predicted. But, while the Paris Agreement saw developed countries agreeing to raise $100 billion per annum, until 2020 in climate finance, the actual achievement has been dismal.

What Are The Challenges?

Almost 75% of the funds raised by the developed countries for climate finance are used domestically, despite developing countries bearing a significant burden of the emissions and loss of natural ecosystems as a result of the industrialisation-drive in the developed world.

And while the low-to-mid income countries are raising some domestic funds for their national climate change targets, it is far too inadequate of the scale required. India alone estimates it would need $2.5 trillion until 2030 to tackle its climate targets; an amount far higher than what this $2.6 trillion economy has invested in its total infrastructure in recent decades. And given a lack of quantifiable targets, global climate finance agreements remained ineffective. The largest climate finance fund from public sources, the $100 billion Green Climate Fund, has a corpus far less than the requirements.

Secondly, most climate funds have flown into mitigation, rather than adaptation – mitigation refers to devising new solutions and ways of doing things, while adaptation refers to managing the current issues.

India’s climate funding has also concentrated on mitigation. However, adaptation is said to be essential to improve the resilience and reduce vulnerabilities of communities to climate shocks, and it typically requires relatively less investment and innovation.

Next, climate finance has mostly concentrated on renewable energy, green buildings and urban transport, because it is easier to estimate their cash-flow cycles. Other sectors which hold implications of equal magnitude to our natural and social ecosystems, like agriculture, degradation of land, water, etc. have seen a muted interest.

But with a large share of manpower dependent on these sectors, there is a need to draw up alternate models so that cash-flows can be better estimated. This is essential, given the disproportionate pressure on private capital to make up for the dismal funding from public sources, since private sector capital must look at numbers at the end of the day.

What Is The Way forward?

Policy and industry action must converge to take climate finance ahead in India. One way is to mainstream the mind-set of the business community; to promote sustainability in their business models. That would push the demand for alternate solutions on climate issues, thus giving further momentum to climate finance efforts.

Credit guarantees have worked to reduce the risk component from sustainable investments, and such guarantee mechanisms must be given disproportionate focus in blended finance models, whilst utilising sparse public sources. Moreover, a guarantee would not require an immediate pay-out by the public funds, unlike investment. Another option is the interest-subvention scheme to reduce the borrowers’ cost for climate projects.

Given the shallow corporate bond market in India, it needs to relax restrictions on other investor categories to invest in sustainable finance. This includes pension funds, sovereign funds and non-resident Indians. While INX, BSE’s green bond platform is operational, India must make its green finance market more robust. Many Indian companies raise green bonds in London, and domestic exchanges must upgrade themselves to cater to this. This includes extending the credit-rating capabilities of rating agencies, apart from green investment banks.

Another alternative is to utilise the cash generated by renewable or transport projects, to fund the other sectors in those local communities.

Avoid Greenwashing

In the end, with more hype than substance occurring in the climate finance market currently, both globally and in India, there is a temptation for greenwashing. But this only erodes the confidence of investors on the applicability of those climate solutions, and the genuineness of the implementing agencies (government or development agencies).

Hence, an audited Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system of the project is needed from the initial years itself, on similar lines like statutory audit reports of private companies. No development project worth its salt would have raised a cent anyway, without making a Theory of Change framework, and this framework can be built upon to develop the M&E system.

This would ensure proper and consistent reporting of the projects’ impact and would go a long way to restore the confidence of the investor community for furthering climate finance in India.

This article was originally published on Network18 Media.

This post has been written by a YKA Climate Correspondent as part of #WhyOnEarth. Join the conversation by adding a post here.
Similar Posts

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below