Bhubaneswar: The role of corporate sector in tackling climate-related issues was underlined at a symposium held here Friday.
The symposium was organised by Climate Positive/Renewable Energy Network Odisha (RENO) in collaboration with Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change (INECC).
The first half of the symposium titled ‘Response to Climate Change and Sustainable Development’ focused on ‘Corporate Engagements in Clean Renewable Energy’ and the second half on the ‘Say No to Plastics’ campaign
Prasanta Biswal, RENO member, who is closely associated with Start-Up Odisha initiative of the state government, said the private sector in India operates at diverse levels. The big players and MNCs have taken initiatives in climate change at multiple levels under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. While some have succeeded, others do not know where and at what level to respond.
India does not have a national legal framework for corporates to cap their emissions. However, the international frameworks like the Paris Agreement envisaged that emission caps would define the world stay under 2 degrees Celsius and pursue goals of 1.5 degrees Celsius. “The objective of the programme was to discuss various dynamics of corporate engagements in climate change and renewable energy and strengthen the understanding of participants on clean energy technology,” Biswal mentioned.
Nafisa Goga Dsouza, INECC executive director, said businesses of all sizes and types play a vital role in addressing the climate change. In the special report released by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it has demanded the emission level to drop drastically, 45 per cent of 2010 level by 2030 and to net zero by 2050.
Hence there is urgency for the business community to accept responsibility for improving their operations, their products and their supply chains.
Anubhav Patnaik, Khandapada MLA, speaking about the climate change perspective in legislation, said that climate change related legislation needs to be developed, strengthened and implemented. It is very important to see climate change in a holistic manner and this component should be reflected in all areas of development, he said.
Bhubaneswar-North MLA Priyadarshi Mishra underlined the importance of decentralised and renewable energy for urban settlements and elaborated upon requirements of alternate energy and modern low-cost technologies to address various public utility challenges.
Convenor of Climate Positive, RENO, Itishree Kanungo said, “Climate change presents the pressing issues for industry and government and civil society. The phenomenon is expected to increase healthcare costs, lead to higher costs for supply chain materials and change tax structures. There is a need for government bodies and civil society to join hands for better results in bringing reforms,” the legislator said.
In the second session on plastic ban, Bhubaneswar Mayor Ananta Narayna Jena said the BMC has started raids on shops to seize polythene/plastic carry bags. “Initially, we did not impose fine on these shops, but now we have started penalising them. It will create fear among shop-keepers and sensitise people to bring their own non-polythene bags while shopping,” he added.