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MSMEs To Drive India’s Green Transition, Carbon Neutrality By 2070

Updated: Mar 18, 2024 06:03:15pm

New Delhi, Mar 18 (KNN) Under the aegis of the Ministry of MSME, the RAI Industries Association (RIA) and the Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) organized a landmark international conference on “Climate Change Regulations & Green Technology To Reduce Carbon Footprints in MSMEs” in New Delhi today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mercy Epao, Joint Secretary-SME at the MSME Ministry, announced plans to establish two new institutes - the National Institution of MSMEs and Green Economy Technology Centre in Hyderabad.

"These institutes will handhold MSMEs for documentation, exploring potential markets for green products, and transitioning from non-renewable to renewable sources," she said.

In his welcome address, Rakesh Chhabra, Vice-President, FISME and President, Rai Industries Association, emphasized the need to develop mechanisms to address the carbon footprint burden on MSMEs producing final products.

“While assessing the carbon footprint, the finished product has to carry the entire carbon footprint accumulated through the value chain. The MSME industry producing the final product is currently carrying this burden. By discussing production processes, we need to figure out an equitable solution.”

During the inaugural session, Vanessa Erogbogbo, Chief, Green and Inclusive Value Chains, Division of Sustainable and Inclusive Trade, ITC, Geneva, highlighted that decarbonization and trade are inter-linked concepts.

"Climate change is systematically shaping the trade prospects of countries worldwide. For India to achieve carbon neutrality by 2070, MSMEs will have to be drivers for the green transition," she stated.

The panelists and experts unanimously agreed on the need for internationally recognized certifications, standards, and a global regulatory body to ensure equitable outcomes as countries are at different stages of green technology transition.

They emphasized harmonizing trade and climate policies to drive innovation in the MSME sector through transparent cross-border consultation and cooperation.

In this context, Carolyn Deere Birkbeck, Executive Director of the Forum on Trade, Environment & the SDGs (TESS) at the Geneva Graduate Institute, revealed an informal working group at the World Trade Organization (WTO) focused on recognizing MSMEs in trade, identifying resources, and assessing export readiness.

In her presentation, Vidya Nathaniel, Associate Programme Officer at ITC Geneva, emphasized the sectoral breakdown of carbon emissions. She noted that while the electricity sector contributes 30% of emissions, the remaining 70% stems from industry, agriculture, transport, and building sectors combined.

Rajesh Agarwal, Former Chief, Business & Trade Policy, ITC, Geneva and Dr. Rajat Kathuria, Former Director and Chief Executive, ICRIER echoed similar sentiments.

Emphasizing the inevitability of climate change regulations, they underscored the prolonged nature of securing concessions in international climate change negotiations. Consequently, they stressed the importance for India to prioritize mitigation and adaptation strategies.

The conference featured technical sessions covering topics such as Emerging Climate Regulations: Current International Discourse, Challenges and Opportunities for Developing Countries, especially Indian MSMEs, and Support Initiatives to Mitigate Trade-related Challenges of Climate Change & Access Green Technologies.

Other notable dignitaries in attendance included Pranidhi, Consultant at the World Bank's Trade and Climate Team focusing on CBAM effects; Ad. Atul Sharma, Co-founder of Sarvada Legal; Dr. Tanu Goyal from ICRIER; Ajay Srivastava, Founder of the Global Trade Research Initiative and former ITS member; Ankur Rawal, Programme Associate at the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW); Ana Patricia Batalhone, Associate Market Analyst at ITC Geneva; Sanjeev Chawla, Director of MSME-DFO; Dr. R.K. Singh, CGM at SIDBI; Ashutosh Tandon from IFC; Keerthi Lal Kala, Founder of Idasu Labs (ILa) Pvt. Ltd; and Dr. Manish Kumar Srivastava from TERI.

(KNN Bureau)


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