The three critical risk factors for India are high dependence on agriculture with about 700 million exposed to climate shocks, a large coastline with the most populous economic hubs, and a heavy reliance on fossil fuels, according to a new entity formed to battle the climate crisis by the coming together of several major Indian philanthropic organisations.
Earlier this week, philanthropic organisations focused on education and health care collaborated on finding solutions for the challenge posed by the climate crisis and created the India Climate Collaborative (ICC), which will fund climate crisis solutions in India.
At least 10 major philanthropies — run by captains of industry including Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra, Rohini Nilekani, Nadir Godrej, Aditi and Rishad Premji, and Hemendra Kothari, among others — are part of the new initiative.
It will work with a number of research and academic organisations, including The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology & the Environment, Centre for Policy Research, Centre for Science & Environment, Indian School of Business, Oxford University, World Resources Institute, and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundations.
In one of its first analyses, published on their official website, ICC said that only about 7% of the total philanthropic funding in India is presently going to climate-focused projects — something that they aim to change. According to the India Philanthropy Report 2019 by Bain and Company, private funds raised in India for the entire social sector in 2018 were about Rs 70,000 crore, out of which an estimated Rs 43,000 crore was from individual philanthropists.
“Most of the funding is going to education, health care, then agriculture, rural livelihoods, but funding for climate change is very less. We aim to raise this funding from less than 10% to at least 20% in the coming years,” said Shloka Nath, executive director of ICC and head of sustainability at Tata Trusts.
ICC pointed out that the telltale signs of the climate crisis — India’s five warmest years were recorded in the past 15 years