India Inc on Wednesday pledged to play a more proactive role in sustainable energy use and efficient water management.

At an event on the occasion of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, to be opened by the Prime Minister on Thursday, corporate honchos from companies such as Vedanta, ONGC, Hindustan Unilever, Ingersoll Rand, Alstom, and Jain Irrigation, said they were taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and the results had already started showing.

Addressing the World CEO Forum, TERI Director-General, Dr R.K. Pachauri, one of the organisers of the summit, said, “Businesses cannot succeed if society fails”. He said businesses now will have to focus on sustainability while taking business decisions…They will have to lead.”

At another event, Mr Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General of UNIDO, said access to energy was key to preserving the environment in the long-term.

He said the UN had a three-point target — universal access to energy by 2030, energy efficiency should go up by 40 per cent by 2030 and the most challenging target, double the share of renewables in the global energy architecture by 20-25 per cent.

Funding

Mr Yumkella said that the UN was technology neutral. “Any country should be allowed to decide its own energy mix.”

However, he cautioned against using emission and clean energy as an excuse to exclude the vast number of poor people from access. On the funds required for clean energy, he said Governments need to play a big role in this and should not be averse to subsidies.

“It only requires 2 per cent increase in power tariffs in OECD countries” for the funds to be arranged, he added.

The summit is expected to be attended by 350 CEOs, heads of multi-lateral and bilateral organisations.

[email protected]