2018: Year in Review
WRI India had several notable achievements in 2018, working collaboratively with the public and private sectors towards sustainable development outcomes. Here are some highlights from our successes during the year.
We worked with the government to help chart pathways towards environmental sustainability.
We developed an ambitious program on shared and electric mobility. We collaborated with Niti Aayog to convene the electric mobility symposium which brought together manufacturers, technologists, policymakers, and researchers to discuss the way forward for electric vehicles in India. We also launched a monthly newsletter, EVConnect, to highlight important developments in this rapidly evolving sector.
We played a key role as one of the knowledge partners for Niti Aayog’s MOVE: Global Mobility Summit, which brought together national and global leaders to discuss the future of mobility. The Prime Minister of India addressed the gathering and laid out his ambitious vision for mobility in the country.
Our flagship event, ConnectKaro, was very well attended this year. The Lt. Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal, gave the inaugural address and the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu, delivered a keynote address during the event.
We partnered with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) for the Innovate to Inspire Challenge, aimed at finding sustainable and scalable solutions under four broad categories: Grid Management, Electric Mobility, Energy Efficiency, and Energy Market Transformation.
As part of our climate adaption efforts, we launched the PREP (Partnership for Resilience Preparedness) platform working with state governments in Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand to understand climate risks across sectors, and to strategise resilience building measures and monitor the plans and processes. We initiated an India-focused case study to understand the enabling factors that would help mainstream adaptation measures into development plans.
In partnership with MoEFCC, we launched the Energy Policy Simulator (EPS) tool, an easy-to-use open-access model, which calculates the effects of various policies and technologies on air pollutants and GHG emissions, and calculates their costs and welfare effects up to the year 2050. We are also supporting the Indian model representation in the Emission Scenarios Portal.
We launched the Restoration Opportunities Atlas for India, to support decision-makers in developing broad pathways for achieving the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions’ (NDC) forest target of additional 2.5 to 3 billion tons CO2 equivalent sequestered through increase in forest and tree cover by 2030. We launched the MapTenure platform, a first-of-its-kind for the orange areas land issue in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It will provide the required documentary evidence for state governments to resolve classification disputes. Going further, this clarity will facilitate the efforts of landscape restoration in India which will in turn improve livelihoods for rural farmers and tribal populations.
Our data-driven decision-making initiative played a critical role during the severe floods that affected Kerala and southern Karnataka in August. We worked closely with state authorities to create data visualisations for the affected areas of Kodagu, Karnataka. Based on this, rescue efforts were streamlined and many lives were saved.
Our mobility work was expanded to three more cities – Bhubaneshwar, Kochi, and Ranchi, and we are now knowledge partners on the Delhi Government’s mobility initiative: Connect Delhi, which includes route rationalisation and a parking policy.
We worked with businesses and enterprises to accelerate Indian’s transition to a low-carbon economy.
We published a primer on carbon pricing to help businesses arrive at a standardised price for their carbon emissions.
Our work with the India Greenhouse Gas (India GHG) Program and the Green Power Market Development Group (GPDMG) was expanded. The GPMDG portal was launched, as well as a working paper on the use of water in thermal power plants in India. We also worked with industries to develop low-carbon pathways for growth using energy-efficiency measures and renewable energy options across various sectors using the natural aggregator approach.
We sharpened our focus on strengthening the innovation ecosystem in various sectors. We worked with mobility enterprises to improve the experience of commuters in major cities. This included the Station Access and Mobility Program, the Better Bus Challenge, and the New Mobility Lab. We also launched TheCityFixLab India: Accelerating Innovation Challenge to find innovation solutions to waste, water and energy solutions for built environments.
India’s prominent corporate groups participated in a high-level CEO’s roundtable to deliberate on potential steps that could be taken to support India’s ambient air quality goals. WRI India worked closely with business leaders to map out a series of initiatives in a CEO’s Communique that outlines the ‘Clean Air for All’ principles.
We worked with civil society and like-minded organisations to forge sustainable partnerships towards better development outcomes.
We conducted an expert consultation with a variety of stakeholders on the pathways to development at the nexus of landscape restoration and energy access. Focus areas in the discussion included increasing availability and efficient use of biomass for power, and electricity provision for economic development which in turn can reduce the pressure on forests.
WRI India hosted stakeholder consultations in Ranchi to facilitate discussions on the development linkages of electricity access and the role of energy data and mapping, towards gaining a better understanding of the needs and challenges that can facilitate improved socio-economic development outcomes for Jharkhand. Our consumer-focused electricity conservation initiative, VR Lite – a partnership with Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE) won the Bengaluru Innovation Challenge organised by the Tata Centre for Development at the University of Chicago, in partnership with the Urban Development Department of the Government of Karnataka.
We launched a working paper highlighting the opportunities and challenges in the residential rooftop solar PV sector.
Our signature initiative, Raahgiri, completed 5 years this year, and has expanded to over 50 cities with over half a million citizens participating in it. This year, we also completed the first year of operations towards implementing Haryana Vision Zero for road safety aiming at zero road fatalities in 10 districts in Haryana.
The GHG Platform India was referenced in India’s Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC. The Platform is a civil society coalition on national and sub-national GHG inventories. WRI India is one of the founding partners and plays dual roles of developing technical guidance documents and leading peer reviews.
At COP 24, WRI signed an MoU with the International Solar Alliance in Katowice, Poland. WRI India will be the focal point for the joint work developed between ISA and WRI in the areas of solar energy deployment and research studies.
WRI India released several other research publications this year. A full list of publications can be found here.
Organisationally, we made critical hires in 2018 to further our mission. These include senior hires for our Climate, Water, and Institutional Development work.
The IPCC 2018 Report urged nations to commit to the 1.5 degree goal and at WRI India, we believe India has massive challenges and big opportunities to lead by example in the task of balancing development and sustainability. We will continue working with policymakers and change agents to make India’s economic development inclusive and climate positive.