Sustainable development in India now encompasses a variety of development schemes in social, cleantech (clean energy, clean water and sustainable agriculture) and human resources segments, having caught the attention of both Central and State governments and also public and private sectors.
In fact, India is expected to begin the greening of its national income accounting, making depletion in natural resources wealth a key component in its measurement of gross domestic product (GDP).
Sustainable energy investment in India went up to US$ 4.1 billion in 2008, up 12 per cent since 2007, according to a report by UN Environment Program (UNEP), ‘Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2009.'
The largest portion of investment went to the wind sector, which grew at 17 per cent from US$ 2.2 billion to US$ 2.6 billion.
While investment in solar energy rose from US$ 18 million in 2007 to US$ 347 million in 2008, most of it was channelised to setup module and cell manufacturing facilities.
Small hydro investment grew by about fourfold to US$ 543 million in 2008.
India's sustained effort towards reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) will ensure that the country's per capita emission of GHG will continue to be low until 2030-31, and it is estimated that the per capita emission in 2031 will be lower than per capita global emission of GHG in 2005, according to a new study. Even in 2031, India's per capita GHG emissions would stay under four tonnes of CO2, which is lower than the global per capita emission of 4.22 tonnes of CO2 in 2005.
India has been ranked ninth in the tree planting roll of honour in 2009 in a campaign to plant a billion trees, which was launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in November 2006. The country registered 96 million trees till 2009.
Two Indian companies, namely, Wipro and HCL, have figured in the list of top five green electronics brands as per the latest edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics by Greenpeace released in October 2009. They have been featured because of their strong focus on the e-waste management and climate control. The study which for the first time has included climate and energy as criteria for evaluation has placed Wipro in joint second position with Samsung.
The number of carbon credits issued for emission reduction projects in India is set to triple over the next three years to 246 million by December 2012 from 72 million in November 2009, according to a CRISIL Research study.
This will cement India's second position in the global carbon credits market (technically called Certified Emission Reduction units or CERs). The growth in CER issuance will be driven by capacity additions in the renewable energy sector and by the eligibility of more renewable energy projects to issue CERs. Consequently, the share of renewable energy projects in Indian CERs will increase to 31 per cent.
CRISIL Research expects India's renewable energy capacity to increase to 20,000 MW by December 2012, from the current 15,542 MW.