28 May 2008

Global Climate Change: India GHG Inventory to Help Industries Reduce Emissions

US companies and State governments are not the only ones trying to get ahead of the curve on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Industries in developing countries like Brazil and India are also getting in the game.

WRI announced today that it is launching a new program in India to help companies from a range of industries, including cement, pharmaceuticals, and engineering, address greenhouse gas emissions.

"The India Greenhouse Gas Inventory Program will allow our companies to consistently and credibly monitor their emissions," said Mr. K P Nyati, Principal Advisor, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in a press release today.

The India GHG Inventory Program will be implemented by the Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Center (GBC) of CII.

"This new program will help India establish a national model of emissions accounting," said Manish Bapna, executive vice president of the World Resources Institute (WRI). "You can't manage what you don't measure."

WRI partnered with CII-GBC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish the program, which is modeled after EPA's Climate Leaders.

"By adopting greenhouse gas management strategies that make business sense, India's industry leaders are demonstrating that a healthy environment and a healthy economy can, in fact, go hand-in-hand," Jim Sullivan, director of the EPA's Climate Leaders program, said in a press release issued by WRI.

India ranks seventh in the world in terms of annual GHG emissions and is responsible for nearly 3.6 percent of world emissions. That doesn't sound like a heck of alot, but it is growing with the country's economic expansion.

"A GHG inventory will improve the company's understanding of its GHG emissions profile and thereby its potential GHG liability or exposure in a carbon constrained economy," noted Mr. A. K. Kaul, Ex-Chairperson, CII Delhi State Council.

Mind you, as a developing country, India has no GHG reduction obligation under the Kyoto Protocol. Corporate GHG reporting is also voluntary, but is becoming almost de rigeur as industry tries to grapple with the potential impacts of climate change on their businesses.

Smart companies are choosing to inventory their emissions and areas of possible efficiencies, which may also improve their bottom line.

India's program is similar to one recently launched in Brazil and is based on the standardized framework of the GHG Protocol.

The GHG Protocol was created by WRI and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and is considered the global standard for accounting of GHG emissions by governments, businesses, and other organizations.

WRI reports on a new study by the Corporate Register, which found that sixty-three percent of Fortune 500 companies use the GHG protocol to disclose their emissions.

The roster of member companies of the India GHG Inventory Program sports some big names in Indian businessn including Ashok Leyland, Bosch Ltd, Capricon Food Products, Century Rayon, Control Techniques India, Godrej Industries, HIRCO, Infosys Technologies, NICCO Corporation, Tata Power, Tata Iron & Steel, and Wipro.

Funding for the program is provided by the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate and the U.S. EPA, according to WRI.

A move like this from India, which recognizes that growth doesn't have to come at the cost of the environment, sends a strong message to the rest of the world. India wants to lead.

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