Since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (also known as the Stockholm Conference) was held in Stockholm in 1972 and attended by the then-Indian Prime Minister, among other heads of state, India has pursued concerns relating to environmental and climate issues.
The climate agenda further gained momentum and strength with the active involvement of civil society organizations (including think tanks, research institutions, and academia, among others), grassroots activists, and youth-led outfits. The government in India, both at the sub-regional and federal levels, started to engage with involved civil society actors in suitable trading in the early 90s.
The Energy Research Institute (TERI) is one such prominent civil society organization. Headquartered in New Delhi with satellite centres spread across the country and international partners. The organization was set up in 1974 by India’s own TATA group. TERI was established to pursue the cause of securing the environment for future generations by accomplishing advanced research, analysis, data, and evidence, policy advocacy, and later working with the UN and other multilateral agencies to support adaptation and mitigation measures. Over the last forty years of its existence, it has expanded its work globally, emerging as one of the world’s pre-eminent think tanks in climate change, energy, agriculture, resource efficiency, and sustainability, among other issue areas.
TERI’s work related to modeling has contributed to India’s formulation of energy policy for decades. It and a group of partners have provided scenario-based modeling inputs to chart out expected emission intensities and examine the share of non-fossil-fuel-based generation capacity over different energy development pathways.
The National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC), India’s National Solar Mission, was developed to a large extent based on inputs from TERI’s work in modeling and analytics.TERI also contributed to India’s Integrated Energy Plan Report and provided the modeling for a Planning Commission Low Carbon Inclusive Growth (LCIG).
In addition, TERI’s environmental research has helped inform policy on critical sustainability issues related to air, water, waste, forests, biodiversity, land, and mineral resources. The 13th Finance Commission of India also used its work on green federalism to introduce sustainability criteria in fiscal transfers from the federal government to its sub-regional counterparts in the country.
Over the years, TERI has also worked closely with the federal environment ministry, including on India’s Environment Policy, 2006, providing necessary inputs for the country’s negotiating positions at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
TERI’s use of technology for climate change research and policy won it the Nobel Prize for Peace with former US vice president Al Gore in 2007.
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard India Country Manager Pooran Chandra Pandey.