The United Indian
The United Indian

The Powerhouse : The Rise Of Green Economy In India

importance of green economy in India

Green Growth, Great Future

Jun 11, 2024

In recent years, the world has been grappling with the twin challenges of climate change and environmental degradation. As nations strive to balance growth with environmental responsibility, a new paradigm has emerged: the green economy. India, home to over 1.3 billion people and one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, is at the forefront of this green revolution. In this article, we'll explore what a green economy entails, how it's taking shape in India, the reasons behind its rise, and the importance of green economy in India.


What is a Green Economy?

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines a green economy as one that results in "improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities." In simpler terms, it's an economic model that prioritizes sustainable development, low-carbon emissions, and efficient use of resources.


importance of green economy in India


Key aspects of a green economy in India include:

  • Renewable Energy: Shifting from fossil fuels to clean energy sources like solar, wind, and hydroelectric power.


  • Resource Efficiency: Using resources like water, energy, and raw materials more efficiently to reduce waste.


  • Green Jobs: Green economy in India supports in creating employment in sectors that benefit the environment, such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and eco-tourism.


  • Circular Economy: Promoting recycling, reuse, and repair to minimize waste and reduce the need for new resources.


  • Sustainable Infrastructure: Building cities, transport systems, and industries that have a lower environmental impact.


The Green Economy in India

India, with its vast population and diverse ecosystems, stands at a critical juncture in balancing economic development and environmental sustainability. The green economy in India is burgeoning, driven by policies, innovations, and a growing awareness of the need to protect the environment. The Indian government, private sector, and civil society are all playing pivotal roles in this transformation. Traditionally reliant on coal for its energy needs, India is now making significant strides towards a greener future.


importance of green economy in India


Beyond energy, India is making progress in other green sectors:

  • Renewable Energy : The country has set ambitious targets for renewable energy, aiming to achieve 450 GW of installed capacity by 2030. As of 2023, India has already surpassed 100 GW of renewable energy capacity, with solar and wind power leading the way.


  • Agriculture: The government is promoting organic farming, water-efficient irrigation, and climate-resilient crop varieties. Schemes like the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) support organic farming, benefiting both farmers and the environment.


  • Transport: India is pushing for electric vehicles (EVs) through policies like the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme. Major cities are also investing in electric buses and metro systems.


  • Urban Development: Understanding the importance of green economy, India has moved towards Smart Cities. The Smart Cities Mission aims to develop 100 cities that are sustainable and citizen-friendly. This includes green buildings, waste management, and green spaces.


  • Waste Management: Initiatives like Swachh Bharat (Clean India) and the ban on single-use plastics are tackling waste. The Waste to Wealth Mission is converting waste into valuable resources.


  • Water Management: Programs like Jal Jeevan Mission aim to provide safe drinking water to all rural households by 2024, emphasizing water conservation and sustainable use.

importance of green economy in India


Why is there a rise in Green Economy in India?

Several factors are driving Green Economy in India:

  • Climate Vulnerability: India is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Rising temperatures, erratic monsoons, and extreme weather events impact agriculture, water resources, and livelihoods. This urgency has pushed policymakers to prioritize sustainability.


  • International Commitments: As a signatory to the Paris Agreement, India has pledged to reduce its carbon intensity by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030. This international commitment has catalyzed domestic action. This further reflects the importance of green economy globally.


  • Economic Opportunities: The green sector offers immense growth potential. According to a report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the transition to a green economy could create 24 million new jobs globally by 2030. India, with its large workforce and growing economy, stands to benefit significantly.


  • Energy Security: Dependence on imported fossil fuels makes India vulnerable to global price fluctuations. Renewable energy, which harnesses India's abundant sun and wind resources, offers energy security and reduces import bills. Result seen from switching towards green energy and other sustainable options show the importance of green economy.


  • Health Concerns: Air pollution, primarily from vehicle emissions and coal-fired power plants, is a major health crisis in Indian cities. The shift to clean energy and EVs is seen as a solution to this public health emergency.


  • Global Investments: As the world pivots towards sustainability, green investments are growing. India's ambitious targets and large market make it an attractive destination for global green finance.


importance of green economy in India


What is the importance of Green Economy for India?

  • Sustainable Development: With a growing population and rising aspirations, India needs growth that doesn't come at the cost of its natural resources. A green economy ensures that development today doesn't compromise the needs of future generations.


  • Poverty Alleviation: Many of India's poor depend directly on natural resources like forests, rivers, and land. Climate change disproportionately affects these communities. A green economy that protects these resources can help in poverty reduction.


  • Job Creation: India needs to create millions of jobs annually for its young population. Green sectors like renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and green construction offer this employment potential.


  • Global Leadership: The importance of green economy in India can also be understood in terms of global leadership. By leading in green innovation and policy, India can set an example for other developing nations. This not only boosts India's soft power but also contributes to global climate action.


  • Economic Resilience: Diversifying into green sectors makes India's economy more resilient. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, renewable energy was more resilient than fossil fuels, showcasing the sector's stability.


  • Resource Efficiency: India's rapid urbanization and industrialization are straining its resources. A green economy, with its focus on efficiency and circularity, can help manage resources better, reducing costs and conflicts.


  • Health and Well-being: Cleaner air, water, and environment directly improve public health. This reduces healthcare costs and improves productivity, creating a virtuous cycle of well-being and growth.


importance of green economy in India


Challenges and the Way Forward

While the journey of green economy in India is promising, it faces challenges. Transitioning from coal, which still powers much of India, will require careful planning to ensure energy access for all. Financing the transition, especially for small businesses and farmers, remains a hurdle. There's also a need for more green skills training.

However, the momentum is undeniable. Recent policy initiatives like the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for solar manufacturing, the National Hydrogen Mission, and the Vehicle Scrappage Policy are steps in the right direction. Collaborations between government, industry, and civil society are crucial. For instance, the International Solar Alliance, headquartered in India, is fostering global cooperation on solar energy.


Key Takeaways

In conclusion, the rise of the green economy in India is not just an environmental necessity but an economic opportunity. It offers a path to sustainable growth, job creation, and global leadership. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "The future depends on what we do in the present." By embracing the green economy today, India is securing a brighter, cleaner, and more prosperous tomorrow for its people and the planet.

Read more in Environment