‘India must give thrust to climate tech startups’

Representational Image
Representational Image groconsult [Creative Commons]

India ranks third after the US and China in terms of the size of the startup ecosystem with over 61,000 startups having been recognised and registered till January.

If India is to meet its 2030 goals towards achieving net-zero, the government must give a thrust to the climate tech startups, said a report released jointly by Climate Trends and Climate Dot here on Tuesday.

India pledged to take several measures to decarbonise its economy towards achieving net-zero in 2070 at the COP26 in Glasgow. However, given the pace at which the country needs to ramp up renewables, reducing emissions while adapting to extreme weather events is an uphill climb.

India should enable the startup community to play its part towards meeting India’s targets. Currently, most of the startups in India are concentrated in the IT sector with most in the clean-tech sector either in renewable energy or EVs.

“Our analysis shows us that there is the need for climate tech to receive dedicated backing, especially during the ‘missing middle’ to enable startups to scale technology underpinning a sustainable planet. Ultimately climate-tech startups can help drive systemic change in the fight against climate change,” said Akhilesh Magal, Director, Climate Dot.

A clear impetus by the Indian government on startups through various schemes such as the Startup India Scheme, Atmanirbhar Bharat, among others, have helped startups flourish in India.
However, these are focussed around Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and a few universities.

There is a need for policy makers to ensure financial support and provide the right ecosystem to accelerate climate tech innovation, says the report.
Europe is one of the fastest-growing regions globally for climate tech. India can explore a model like the European Union’s European Institute of Technology (EIT InnoEnergy) model, which was initially supported by the European Commission to specifically accelerate climate tech startups, but now operates and finances itself independently.

“There is a need for accelerated and deep decarbonisation. While India has mainly relied on domestic sources for its renewable energy projects, there is a need for a significant fund flow into the country to enable the energy transition. At COP26, India announced the need for one trillion dollars towards climate finance. Climate-tech startups can facilitate the flow of funds domestically and internationally,” Aarti Khosla, Director, Climate Trends, told IANS.

The report becomes particularly relevant in the context of the Copenhagen Accord where developed countries agreed to mobilise $100 billion annually and still remains a promise to be fulfilled. (IANS)

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