Indiaspora climate 2022: Climate change is not a problem for the future, warn experts

iNDICA News Bureau-

Climate change is not a p iNDICA News Bureau-

 

Climate change is not a problem for the future but for the here and now, Dr Veerabhadran ‘Ram’ Ramanathan, Cornell climate solutions scholar who is also affiliated with the University of California, San Diego, said.

 

When we speak of ensuring that the earth does not heat up by more than 1.5°C, we don’t seem to notice that we have already seen a 1° rise in temperature over the past two decades, he remarked at the second annual Indiaspora climate summit April 19.

 

Often, it is poorer members of society who are victims of decisions made and pollution created by large industries. Indeed, almost 90 percent of emissions come from upper- and middle-income families in cities.

 

Simply put, it is now our civic responsibility to be climate-aware and act in a climate-positive manner. The discourse around climate change is colored by issues of environmental justice, international cooperation, the developmental race among nations, etc., and as stakeholders in the planet’s continued health, all citizens must do their bit.

 

It was for this reason Indiaspora, a nonprofit founded in 2012 by U.S.-based philanthropist MR Rangaswami to position the Indian diaspora as a global force for good, hosted its second annual climate summit. The summit, held online, brought a variety of experts in policy, advocacy, academia and business together to share perspectives on how the world can collectively combat the crisis. It comprised panel discussions, fireside chats, and talks with opportunities for members of the audience to raise questions and participate.

 

Sunita Narain, director of the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi and director of the Down to Earth magazine, gave the opening keynote. One of India’s leading environmentalists, she spoke of the dangers of climate change, the scale of transformation and transitions needed to respond to this, and the different national and international strategies and interventions.

 

Drawing upon her immense experience of working with different actors in the environmental space, she illustrated the cost of all these measures and outlined how countries need to cooperate to achieve this common goal, and offset the carbon debt.

 

The event featured three panels and three other short talks by professionals in the field. The first panel, on ‘Global leadership in climate investing: Voices from India, UAE, Israel and the U.S.,’ was moderated by Avi Sahi, chief commercialization officer, OGCI Climate Investments LLP, and a leading voice in the field.

 

The panel comprised V Shankar, co-founder and CEO, Gateway Partners, an alternative asset management company; Mridula Ramesh, founder of the Sundaram Climate Institute; and Eran Sandhaus, co-founder and managing partner, J-Impact, an organization that connects Israel with the Jewish diaspora.

 

In light of the Indian government’s climate policy, the current debate on green economics is of particular interest. This panel explored novel ideas on how investment conversations need to be transformed to account for India’s particular challenges and situation, given that it has already crossed several climate thresholds despite being among the largest global supporters for climate positive interventions.

 

One of the common paradoxes in environmentalism is that climate change-related issues require the production of more energy to address them — in the summer, when temperatures rise due to global warming, people use air-conditioning, which in turn causes more warming.

 

The discussion between Dr Ramanathan and Dr Anu Ramaswami, director of the MS Chadha Center for Global India, Princeton University, focused on highlighting the urgency of the problems faced and discussed the most feasible ways forward.

 

Dr Ramanathan, whose expertise is in CFCs, non-CO2 pollutants and mitigation of short-range climate pollutants, is one of the leading voices in the field. His insights on the inequality of emission sources versus people impacted by emissions have been globally recognized as path-breaking. Dr Anu Ramaswami explored how key sectors shape human and environmental well-being from local to global scales, and how sectoral transformation is needed to bring environmental transformation.

 

A challenge faced by those aware of climate change issues is that of participation — the coordination of macro efforts and mega projects that can make a large-scale difference. In conversation with Kartikeya Singh, of Stitching SED Fund, and Vaishali Sinha, chair of ReNew Foundation, these issues were explored. Along with Raashina Humayun, Environmental Commissioner for the City of Los Altos, California, the panel put forward novel insights on bringing stakeholders into cohesive and coordinated action, and highlighted the bounty of diaspora leaders in the space of climate change and green interventions.

 

There are other ways to understand the scope of the climate challenge. In a short talk, George Jacob, president and CEO of Bay Ecotarium in San Francisco, spoke of an extraordinary reconceptualization of the museum space, outlining the projects focused on climate resilience and ocean conservation in living museums. His work is globally sought after, with unique museums in San Francisco, Norway, Jamaica and Scotland.

 

In her keynote, Sunita Narain also said renewable energy will be the accelerant for economic growth — which is also a keystone of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s environmental strategy. This topic was explored in a talk by Premal Shah, co-founder and executive chair of Renewables.org and co-founder of Kiva. He outlined the investment and acceleration of renewable energy in emerging markets and laid out opportunities for prospective investors as well.

 

More than any other, climate change is the great equalizer. Apart from equality, the concept of equity has also entered the discussion as there are severe inequalities in the space currently. The closing address by Manish Bapna, president and CEO of NRDC, focused the equity lens on the dialogue on climate mitigation. He spoke of how collaborative action is needed for global achievement of the UNSDG goals.

 

Indiaspora, which is currently led by Executive Director Sanjiv Joshipura, is currently part of many projects, of which climate change is particularly prominent. The organization is investing in making dialogue on this topic a regular and meaningful event. A complete recording of the event can be found here. roblem for the future but for the here and now, Dr Veerabhadran ‘Ram’ Ramanathan, Cornell climate solutions scholar who is also affiliated with the University of California, San Diego, said.

When we speak of ensuring that the earth does not heat up by more than 1.5°C, we don’t seem to notice that we have already seen a 1° rise in temperature over the past two decades, he remarked at the second annual Indiaspora climate summit April 19.

Often, it is poorer members of society who are victims of decisions made and pollution created by large industries. Indeed, almost 90 percent of emissions come from upper- and middle-income families in cities.

Simply put, it is now our civic responsibility to be climate-aware and act in a climate-positive manner. The discourse around climate change is colored by issues of environmental justice, international cooperation, the developmental race among nations, etc., and as stakeholders in the planet’s continued health, all citizens must do their bit.

It was for this reason Indiaspora, a nonprofit founded in 2012 by U.S.-based philanthropist MR Rangaswami to position the Indian diaspora as a global force for good, hosted its second annual climate summit. The summit, held online, brought a variety of experts in policy, advocacy, academia and business together to share perspectives on how the world can collectively combat the crisis. It comprised panel discussions, fireside chats, and talks with opportunities for members of the audience to raise questions and participate.

Sunita Narain, director of the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi and director of the Down to Earth magazine, gave the opening keynote. One of India’s leading environmentalists, she spoke of the dangers of climate change, the scale of transformation and transitions needed to respond to this, and the different national and international strategies and interventions.

Drawing upon her immense experience of working with different actors in the environmental space, she illustrated the cost of all these measures and outlined how countries need to cooperate to achieve this common goal, and offset the carbon debt.

The event featured three panels and three other short talks by professionals in the field. The first panel, on ‘Global leadership in climate investing: Voices from India, UAE, Israel and the U.S.,’ was moderated by Avi Sahi, chief commercialization officer, OGCI Climate Investments LLP, and a leading voice in the field.

The panel comprised V Shankar, co-founder and CEO, Gateway Partners, an alternative asset management company; Mridula Ramesh, founder of the Sundaram Climate Institute; and Eran Sandhaus, co-founder and managing partner, J-Impact, an organization that connects Israel with the Jewish diaspora.

In light of the Indian government’s climate policy, the current debate on green economics is of particular interest. This panel explored novel ideas on how investment conversations need to be transformed to account for India’s particular challenges and situation, given that it has already crossed several climate thresholds despite being among the largest global supporters for climate positive interventions.

One of the common paradoxes in environmentalism is that climate change-related issues require the production of more energy to address them — in the summer, when temperatures rise due to global warming, people use air-conditioning, which in turn causes more warming.

The discussion between Dr Ramanathan and Dr Anu Ramaswami, director of the MS Chadha Center for Global India, Princeton University, focused on highlighting the urgency of the problems faced and discussed the most feasible ways forward.

Dr Ramanathan, whose expertise is in CFCs, non-CO2 pollutants and mitigation of short-range climate pollutants, is one of the leading voices in the field. His insights on the inequality of emission sources versus people impacted by emissions have been globally recognized as path-breaking. Dr Anu Ramaswami explored how key sectors shape human and environmental well-being from local to global scales, and how sectoral transformation is needed to bring environmental transformation.

A challenge faced by those aware of climate change issues is that of participation — the coordination of macro efforts and mega projects that can make a large-scale difference. In conversation with Kartikeya Singh, of Stitching SED Fund, and Vaishali Sinha, chair of ReNew Foundation, these issues were explored. Along with Raashina Humayun, Environmental Commissioner for the City of Los Altos, California, the panel put forward novel insights on bringing stakeholders into cohesive and coordinated action, and highlighted the bounty of diaspora leaders in the space of climate change and green interventions.

There are other ways to understand the scope of the climate challenge. In a short talk, George Jacob, president and CEO of Bay Ecotarium in San Francisco, spoke of an extraordinary reconceptualization of the museum space, outlining the projects focused on climate resilience and ocean conservation in living museums. His work is globally sought after, with unique museums in San Francisco, Norway, Jamaica and Scotland.

In her keynote, Sunita Narain also said renewable energy will be the accelerant for economic growth — which is also a keystone of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s environmental strategy. This topic was explored in a talk by Premal Shah, co-founder and executive chair of Renewables.org and co-founder of Kiva. He outlined the investment and acceleration of renewable energy in emerging markets and laid out opportunities for prospective investors as well.

More than any other, climate change is the great equalizer. Apart from equality, the concept of equity has also entered the discussion as there are severe inequalities in the space currently. The closing address by Manish Bapna, president and CEO of NRDC, focused the equity lens on the dialogue on climate mitigation. He spoke of how collaborative action is needed for global achievement of the UNSDG goals.

Indiaspora, which is currently led by Executive Director Sanjiv Joshipura, is currently part of many projects, of which climate change is particularly prominent. The organization is investing in making dialogue on this topic a regular and meaningful event. A complete recording of the event can be found here.