NEW DELHI :
IN A bid to solve India’s pressing climate challenges, country’s foremost philanthropists on Wednesday joined hands to form the India Climate Collaborative (ICC) that will work to strengthen the climate community locally, build a climate narrative and drive solutions that will ensure both the natural world and people thrive. The ICC marks the first-ever collective response by industry leaders such as Ratan N. Tata, Anand Mahindra, Rohini Nilekani, Nadir Godrej, Aditi and Rishad Premji, Vidya Shah and Hemendra Kothari, among others.
“Our collective leadership through the ICC will indicate to the world that Indian philanthropy is ready to be a leader in climate action,” Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts said in a statement. The initiative will seek to build a collaborative platform for diverse voices, innovative solutions, and collective investments. “Scientific research tells us that the next decade will be critical in dealing with the global climate crisis,” said Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group. “Business, government, and philanthropy must collaborate within and among themselves to drive results quickly and at scale.
The India Climate Collaborative can make this happen and I welcome its creation,” Mahindra added. Mandated to amplify and spread local solutions, the ICC is expected to inspire and connect governments, businesses, impact investors, research institutions, scientists, and civil society to work together to solve India’s climate crisis with the support of the international climate community. “We have to look at localised solutions that can solve global problems, and this will need businesses, governments, academia, and individuals to work together to identify and scale up solutions.
The role of philanthropy will be to augment these efforts,” said Nadir B. Godrej, Managing Director of Godrej Industries. Shloka Nath, who leads the sustainability portfolio at Tata Trusts, has been appointed Executive Director of the India Climate Collaborative. The ICC is currently an over 40-member organization, including the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India; The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI); Centre for Science and Environment (CSE); Swades Foundation; Sanctuary Asia Foundation; and global collaborative platforms and networks such as the EChO Network, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), Dasra, Sankalp Forum, among others. Since 1980, nearly 60,000 suicides in India are attributed to warming temperatures, accounting for almost seven percent of the national upward trend in suicide rates.
There has been a 150 per cent rise in air pollution-related deaths over the past 20 years and in 2017 alone, India saw 1.2 million deaths due to air pollution. India suffered an economic loss of $37 billion due to climate change in 2018, of which losses due to floods amounted to US $2.8 billion. “In India, we need to seriously prepare ourselves for all the innovation and the multidimensional action that will be required to continue on our development trajectory in this new environment. Climate action is not an either/or,” said Rohini Nilekani. In the coming months, the ICC will host a convening of actors to battle air pollution across India, conduct a technical training on climate change for officials from the Government of Rajasthan, and launch research on how philanthropy can help build climate resilient communities.