The Centre is determined to not let the Delhi smog-like situation recur, Environment Secretary C K Mishra said here today and asserted that no single authority can be held responsible for the menace. If harsh measures are called for, they will be taken, Mishra said at an event hosted by WWF-India where he launched a report on ‘Clean Energy Innovation Ecosystem in the SME sector in India’. “We recently witnessed the Delhi smog, and the air quality is really a matter of great concern to each one of us. There are a lot of things that should have been done. But, no single organisation or authority can be held responsible. “Many say the government has been unable to enforce what it says. But, let me put another perspective, if the government has failed to stop the emission, it is time, those who are emitting also took some responsibility,” Mishra said. The environment secretary said there was a “lot of ground to cover” and it was not always the rulebook that should decide actions, but the concern. “As the government, we are determined to not let this (Delhi smog-like situation) happen again, which may mean taking harsh measures, and there will be (such measures). Because, we care for lives and we cannot ignore that aspect,” he said. To address environmental issues, individual efforts need to galvanise into a collective goal for the government and society as a whole, Mishra, who also holds the portfolio of climate change, said.
The environment secretary also reached out to the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and urged the business entities to become extremely competitive in devising “innovative and cleaner technology”. India has “unique problems” and so it needs “unique solutions”. And, ‘who comes up with a cleaner technology’ has to be the slogan of the industry, he said, adding, climate change is for real, and we need to brace up for it. “We are at present the third largest emitter of CO2, but if you look historically, India’s contribution to climate change has been very low. But, that does not absolve us of taking very harsh measures to ensure that we move ahead on this,” Mishra said. “I also want to tell the industry that development imperatives and innovation can go hand in hand,” the environment secretary said. Mishra said millions of Indians still do not have access to electricity, and the government wants to reach out to all of them soon by creating additional capacity through renewable power worth 175 GW by 2022, particularly with reference to solar technology.
The Basil Energetics and Atomberg Technologies were awarded the ‘Climate Solver Awards 2017’ at the event for contributing to greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction by developing a smart micro-grid and Gorilla energy-efficient ceiling fans, respectively. Climate Solver is a climate innovation platform launched by WWF-Sweden in 2008 to strengthen the development and widespread use of low-carbon technologies. It has now expanded to other countries, including China and India, the WWF said. The awards were started in India in 2012.
The ‘Clean Energy Innovation Ecosystem in the SME sector in India’ report has been produced by WWF-India in partnership with Okapi Research and Advisory. Under the initiative, a study was carried out across three major innovation hubs – Delhi, Pune and Bengaluru.