India has the potential to emerge as the leader of a ‘sustainable future’.

This is my putting it mildly, combatting climate change is a race against extinction, to preserve life as we know it on earth. There are no two ways about it. The world must decarbonise, and quickly at that to stop the alarming rate of global warming and the disastrous effects of climate change from plunging our planet into unhabitable conditions. Smashing public property and quitting school like Greta Thunberg is not going to quite solve the problem. If not anything, all those extinction rebellions and school strikes are only going to add to the lack of people with the technical know-how to decarbonise and take decisive actions in the real world. The rebellion has already cost the COP 26 host over £50 million in taxpayers’ money. Climate protests are increasingly inching towards paralysing constructive work and creating violent disruptions including vandalism of public property. Activists of the extinction rebellion have been increasingly participating in anti-establishment activities to create unrest and panic among the general public. In India alone, many of the so-called climate activists are getting muddled up with the separatist Khalistan movement and are being caught at the centre of anti-establishment toolkits under the garb of climate activism.
As per a 2008 World Bank estimate, over 61% of people worldwide are aware of global warming and climate change and the awareness has only heightened since. On a comparative scale, the awareness figures are on the higher end and it has evolved more into an issue with no concrete plan going onwards. A similar parallel can be drawn to Elon Musk most recently challenging the UN to come up with a concrete roadmap for the $2 billion of his wealth that they claimed to be the solution to world hunger. As a member of the niche community studying and researching renewables, I think that there are definitely multiple techno-economic challenges with some potentially promising solutions.
As fossil fuels continue to choke us, alternative fuels are fast populating our horizons with green hydrogen and ammonia emerging as favourites to fix some of the hard-to-decarbonise and almost impossible to electrify sectors such as aviation, shipping, cement manufacture and steel-making. India has one of the highest potentials for green ammonia production at economical rates. The country can single-handedly fulfil the world’s potential ammonia requirements in the future. It is one boat that the country might not want to miss in terms of the capacity building ahead of time. In addition to the central benefit of contributing to a sustainable future, the opportunity also presents itself as a way to establish the nation as a formidable economic prowess. Many countries including most of the middle-eastern region have already demonstrated the stake that selling energy creates for a region.
India’s potential to emerge as the leader of a “sustainable future” is not just limited to its current natural affinity for wind, solar, and other natural elements but to the climate change resilience that the predictions show for the future of the Indian renewable systems. It is undeniable that we now live in a world that is considerably warmer compared to pre-industrial levels. The anthropogenic nature of greenhouse gases makes them a constant ailment that will continue to keep our planet warm long after we have absolutely stopped all emissions. The natural variables of our climatic conditions which govern renewable production are bound to change due to the domino effect created by the warming.
Climate change resilience predictions show a varied global trend with many across the globe including California, Nevada, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeing negative effects as the world warms. Their installed capacity is going to potentially drop due to changing solar irradiation and wind speeds. On the contrary, India has displayed promising resilience making it a very strong candidate for capacity building ahead of time. Enhancement of national grid transmission capacities, introduction of feed-in tariffs, and subsidy on green energy consumption can go a long way in incentivizing the country to transition to good energy.
In a country with great natural potential, cultural acceptance to sustainability, and future resilience, the time is to catch boats we previously missed and build up capacity, rising up to the occasion of a sustainable world leader.