Indian Inc not ready for climate change initiatives

July 23rd, 2008 - 6:12 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of KPMG

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Despite wide awareness about climate change, Indian corporates are not ready to tackle this issue, says a study by global consultancy KPMG released Wednesday. An overwhelming 83 percent of the respondents claimed to have a fair understanding of climate change issues. However, just under half of them said they have a clear strategy in place to tackle these issues.

The recent KPMG report is an attempt to assess the preparedness of India Inc towards this global phenomenon.

The study attempts to understand the Indian business leaders’ appreciation of the climate change context, its implications for the economy and their businesses, and their readiness to respond to the impending change.

Said KPMG’s national industry director Arvind Mahajan: “Developing countries like India and China are under increasing international pressure to undertake measures to limit their aggregate emission levels.”

“While the government on its part has recently announced the National Action Plan on Climate Change, the onus is now on private businesses to do their bit,” Mahajan added.

“Merely good intentions with regard to environment awareness are not enough, what is needed is a structured and measurable plan. The first step to the process is measuring the current carbon footprint.”

Mahajan said companies should seek to benefit from opportunities brought by climate change. For instance, the global market for low carbon energy efficient technologies is estimated to be $3 trillion by 2050.

The global awareness on climate change is far greater. Most companies in the developed world have measured and announced their baseline carbon footprint, and also their reduction targets over five to 10 year periods.

KPMG said the case with Indian businesses is rather dismal.

While 41 percent of the respondents indicated having at least some quantified goals for carbon reduction by 2010, a significant 38 percent of the respondents have no goals whatsoever.

The report also brings to light the lack of appreciation of the tools and capabilities required to contain climate change.

The most widespread measure that businesses engage in, or plan to engage in, to tackle climate change is the usage of energy efficient appliances (94 percent), followed by educating and training employees on environment friendly practices (77 percent).

A lot fewer businesses are engaged in other primary drivers of emission reductions. Only 29 percent of firms review and update their global supply chain to achieve energy efficiency and only 25 percent have discontinued high-energy services.

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