The Covid-19 pandemic has brought global systemic challenges like climate change to the forefront. If not tackled in a timely manner, it will be the cause of greater disruptions than we have witnessed from the pandemic. Nation-states need to build resilience and continue raising awareness towards sustainable living to protect our ecosystems and our economies.
The humbling situation in India due to the pandemic has reinforced the need to critically examine the relationship between resilience and sustainable development in particular in the country’s megacities. India’s transition towards clean, affordable and renewable energy can better prepare the country to resist global shocks.
But the fifth-largest economy in the world has a far way to go. It relies on extensive energy consumption, which stands at 910 MToe – which in turn, translates to roughly a rise of 20% every five years since 1990. According to the International Energy Agency, India will experience the largest increase in energy demand through 2040 of any country in the world. Moreover, according to an air quality report by IQAir, 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities are in India.
While India has succeeded in reducing its emissions to GDP growth ratio, it has not yet achieved a full decoupling, thus India needs to significantly accelerate its progress to date in delinking economic growth and environmental degradation.