“Critical to Encourage Thinking and Accountability”—Reactions to new CEEW-IISD report
On July 15, we released Mapping India’s Energy Subsidies 2021: Time for renewed support to clean energy, the latest report in the India's Energy Transition series from the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Global Subsidies Initiative (IISD-GSI) and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
This wide-ranging study and its accompanying interactive database dive into the Government of India’s use of subsidies to support different energy types. The researchers look at multi-year trends and assess the opportunities that subsidy policies present for achieving India’s desired energy future, particularly in light of its goals for Aatmanirbhar Bharat and clean energy transition as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19.
Experts have already begun to comment on the significance of the report. The researchers were commended in particular for their efforts to improve data transparency on energy subsidies.
"Such work is critical to encourage thinking and accountability across India's many energy institutions and policies," wrote Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, in a foreword to the report.
"I encourage all the stakeholders to take a look at the report's findings and best utilise the data that has been made publicly available through this report to strengthen better planning and implementation of various programs," Kant added.
The real-world applicability and potential societal impact of the insights put forth in the report were also mentioned.
“This study presents some key policy insights on how best to accelerate action in the energy sector that can improve the health and well-being of the population in India. Divesting from coal and investing in clean and renewable energy can play a critical role for scaling up efforts to achieve India's national and the global targets, as well as a green and healthy recovery from COVID-19,” said Dr. Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at the World Health Organization (WHO).
Overall, the report was deemed a comprehensive look at energy subsidies in India with timely solutions that take into account today’s challenges and opportunities.
"Post-COVID-19 stimulus and recovery is an opportunity to realign our energy trajectory with the goals of the Paris Agreement and in turn trigger significant economic and environmental co-benefits. This study reinforces why rationalizing and targeting subsidies is so important for the energy transition," said Divya Datt, Programme Manager at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The report also brought media attention highlighting the need to bring support for renewables back on track as India works toward recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
“India’s quest to achieve its goals for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and a clean energy transition, part of the economic recovery from COVID-19, is missing a key ingredient: adequate financial support for renewable energy,” wrote Soumya Duggal in Saur Energy.