India’s climate action: Urgent steps needed for financing and implementation

India has taken significant strides in committing to a net-zero target and accelerating renewable energy deployment. However, to secure a sustainable future, there is an immediate need for a well-defined roadmap with agreed milestones and robust financing for effective climate action. Let’s delves into the challenges India faces, especially in terms of vulnerability to climate change, the imperative for increased financing, and strategic interventions required for successful implementation.

India’s Climate Vulnerability:


  • India is increasingly vulnerable to climate change, losing approximately one percent of its annual GDP due to natural disasters linked to climate change.
  • The recognition of this vulnerability is growing among Indians, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive climate action.

Financing Challenges and Opportunities:

  • Despite commendable efforts, financing for climate action remains a significant challenge, with only $44 billion mobilized in 2021, falling short of the requirement.
  • Prioritizing sectors with low investments, such as cities, is crucial as they are both vulnerable to climate impacts and major energy consumers.

Strategies for Increased Financing:

  • A Green Growth champion, as outlined in Budget 2023, is essential, with the Ministry of Finance (MoF) taking a lead role.
  • MoF’s involvement ensures accelerated and coordinated policy action, integrating climate financing into the broader economic strategy and budgetary allocations.
  • Public funding must be enhanced to address gaps, with MoF prioritizing investments for maximum impact, especially in neglected areas like sustainable construction.

Innovative Policies and Institutions:

  • MoF can drive innovative policies like sustainable procurement to embed sustainability into product design and value chains, incentivizing nature-based solutions.
  • A dedicated Green Bank is proposed to mobilize and direct climate finance, drawing inspiration from global precedents and promoting specialized bonds such as Sustainability Bonds and Impact Bonds.

Attracting International Capital:

  • The focus should shift to attracting $10-20 billion annually in international capital, tapping into larger pools like sovereign wealth funds, pensions, and insurance monies.
  • Aggregated investable projects, particularly in cities, can attract international investors, necessitating urban reforms and delegation of powers to urban local bodies (ULBs).

State-Level Accreditation:

  • States like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu with existing urban development and finance corporations can be accredited to facilitate international fund access.
  • The accreditation process should be streamlined to ensure each state has a designated entity.

Public Awareness and Urgency:

  • Recent research indicates over 80 percent of Indians are concerned about global warming, underlining the urgency of climate action.
  • Climate action is imperative, and mobilizing finance is a critical test that requires immediate and decisive action.

As India faces the challenges of climate change, a proactive and coordinated approach is essential. By prioritizing financing, implementing innovative policies, and attracting international capital, India can not only meet its climate goals but also build a sustainable and resilient future. The time to act is now, and the path forward demands collective efforts and decisive decision-making.