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RELEASE: WRI India Launches RISE TN Initiative to Prepare Climate Resilient and Future Ready MSMEs in Chennai and Coimbatore's Automotive Sector

Chennai, October 27, 2023: WRI India, along with FaMe TN, launched the Resilient, Inclusive and Sustainable Enterprises (RISE) initiative in Tamil Nadu to help MSMEs develop feasible solutions for a just and inclusive low carbon transition. Launched in the presence of Ms. Archana Patnaik, Secretary, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, the initiative will work with MSMEs and workers from the automotive sector in Chennai and Coimbatore to support the state’s vision of building a global electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing hub. It will also help MSMEs build resilience to climate impacts while ensuring their competitiveness in a low carbon world and aid in preparing an inclusive green workforce.

A low carbon transition within MSMEs, unless addressed carefully, poses substantial risk of increased livelihood loss for businesses in the conventional auto sector. This is because most of the workers lack the necessary skills needed as the industry shifts to more sustainable technologies in addition to keeping up with the demands of a rapidly decarbonizing supply chain. As rising emissions and climate change warrant such technological transitions, addressing the vulnerabilities of MSMEs is pivotal to ensure that no one is left behind.

In August 2022, WRI India and FaMe TN signed an MoU to support a just low carbon transition of Tamil Nadu’s automotive MSMEs. With Tamil Nadu announcing its new EV policy to lead India’s EV manufacturing sector and generating 1 lakh jobs in the process, MSMEs involved in the supply chain will be at the forefront of this transition. Through RISE-TN ‒ supported by the Ares Charitable Foundation’s Climate Resilient Employees for a Sustainable Tomorrow (CREST) initiative, WRI India will use a comprehensive approach to equip MSME workers with the necessary tools, generate awareness, build capacity and develop their resilience to climate change impacts. Additionally, RISE-TN will also aid MSMEs measure and manage their carbon emissions and upskill and reskill workers towards EV manufacturing.

In her inaugural address at the launch of RISE-TN, Ms Grace Pachuau, I.A.S, Additional Commissioner of Industries and Commerce, Department of Industries and Commerce, Govt of Tamil Nadu and Executive Director, FaMe TN, said, “RISE-TN is a first of its kind initiative brought by FaMe TN along with WRI India which aims to equip our state's MSMEs with the skills and readiness needed to thrive in a low-carbon future. RISE-TN aims to achieve this through on-ground research, active industry engagement, and hands-on training programs. I wholeheartedly encourage the participation of automotive OEMs and MSMEs engaged in component manufacturing in Tamil Nadu, as it will enable them to derive substantial benefits from this initiative, consequently positioning Tamil Nadu as a forerunner in the development of a sustainable automobile supply chain within the nation.”

Ms. Ashwini Hingne, Associate Program Director, WRI India, said, “Tamil Nadu with its updated EV policy is aiming to become a global EV manufacturing hub. With new investment coming in and the state planning to add 1.5 lakh new jobs in the EV sector in the next five years, MSMEs will play a key role in unlocking the sector’s future growth. However, this transition to EVs must be just and inclusive ensuring existing Internal Combustion Engine component manufacturers, especially thoseat the risk of losing business are able to diversify to EV component manufacturing or allied sectors. RISE-TN, in association with FaMe TN, aims to support automotive MSMEs in Tamil Nadu to build their resilience and enhance their knowledge and capacity towards sustainable practices and to develop a future-ready green workforce.”

Media contacts:

Shreyas Joshi | WRI India
+91 7042202591

Steffi Olickal | WRI India
+91 8291210724

About WRI India: WRI India, an independent charity legally registered as the India Resources Trust, provides objective information and practical proposals to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable development. Our work focuses on building sustainable and liveable cities and working towards a low carbon economy. Through research, analysis, and recommendations, WRI India puts ideas into action to build transformative solutions to protect the earth, promote livelihoods, and enhance human well-being. We are inspired by and associated with World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organisation. Know more:

About Ares Charitable Foundation: The Ares Charitable Foundation (“the Ares Foundation”) is a 501(c)(3) qualifying organization sponsored by Ares Management Corporation ("Ares"), a leading global alternative investment manager. Established in 2020, the Ares Foundation seeks to accelerate equality of economic opportunity through grants to non profit organizations whose programming provides Career Preparation & Reskilling, encourages Entrepreneurship and deepens individuals’ understanding of Personal Finance. The Ares Foundation's vision – a world in which all people benefit from equitable access to knowledge, resources and opportunities so that they can achieve their full potential – reflects Ares’ core values and staunch commitment to philanthropy.

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