As the US President prepares to host leaders of 40 countries, including India, for a virtual summit on climate change later this week, Indian-American CEO of a top US firm believes that New Delhi has an opportunity to lead the world on climate change.
President Joe Biden will host the Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22 and 23. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among the 40 world leaders invited by Biden to address the first ever summit on climate change by the US.
“Climate is not only the right thing, the must do thing, it is the right business. And so, what I believe is that India certainly has the opportunity to lead on climate. It is in India''s interest. And in the interest of all of humanity we need to address this crisis that is on our doorstep. Every one of us needs to do our part,” Deloitte CEO Punit Renjen told PTI in a recent interview.
Renjen said the major challenge to mankind also provides an opportunity to come up with the technologies, the processes that will allow us to change this negative trend of rising temperatures that are going to impact everyone, particularly those that are on the lower end of the economic scale. They're going to be impacted to a greater extent because of climate change, he said.
“So, I think India certainly has a role to play. I think India actually has a leadership role to play,” Renjen said.
As the largest democracy in the world, one of the oldest civilisations in the world, soon to be the third or fourth largest economy in the world, one of the functioning democracies with individuals that are truly global, as a group of people that are very friendly to everyone, Renjen said he thinks “this is a great opportunity for India” to take the leadership on the global front.
Observing that changes are must in the way that humans produce and consume, Renjen said that everybody including India needs to do that. There's also an opportunity to invent the next set of technologies that will be required to address the issue of climate change. Solar is one, wind is another and India can play a leadership role in these technologies, he said.
Indian companies, he noted, are increasingly stepping up to not only making commitments in their own footprint, what they do. Deloitte, for instance, he said, has made a commitment that it will be Net Zero by 2030. Renjen said he has written to Deloitte partner''s today that they are implementing a tool that allows every one of those individuals to see as to how they consume, how they impact the climate and what they can do to try and change their behaviour.
“That’s the type of effort that Indian corporations, I believe, need to do and are doing. This is going to be all of our effort in terms of our ability to address. It can''t be done by the government Itself by itself. It can''t be done by corporations like Deloitte by themselves. It can’t be done by individuals. All of us have to pitch in. This is the call of our generation,” he said.
Renjen described climate change as the bigger crisis than the COVID-19.
“The Biden-Harris administration will do more than any in history to meet our climate crisis. This is already an all-hands-on-deck effort across our government and across our nation. Our future depends on the choices we make today,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a major foreign policy speech on climate change on Monday.
“The president wanted to convene this summit early in his presidency to ensure close coordination with key players in the international community and at the highest levels of government. Obviously, the United States is one of the world’s largest emitters, but so are a number of countries who will be represented,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.