Climate Action for Optimists

Can you guess the most powerful solutions to bend India’s Emissions Curve? The answers might surprise you.

23 May 2023 Public Lecture Series Lets Talk Climate Change

Relentless news about the climate crisis can make the solutions seem too slow, too difficult, too costly. But what if some of the solutions are hiding in plain sight? What if they bring economic gains? What if they get implemented faster than experts predict?

In this talk, we will play with data for the Indian economy to see if we can slow the growth of emissions over the next decade and beyond. We will see the impact on jobs, taxes, and imports as well as on air, water, and health. Can you guess the most powerful solutions to bend India’s Emissions Curve? The answers might surprise you.

Making this a reality will need many other measures to raise capital, train workers, and protect the most vulnerable people. It will also need behaviour change to be scaled up by companies and government agencies. 

About the Speaker

Ulka Kelkar is director of the climate research programme at World Resources Institute India. An economist by training, she has worked on climate policy for more than 20 years in collaboration with scientists, engineers, geographers, architects and bankers. She has done fieldwork in seven Indian states and her research has been published in leading journals.

Ulka is a co-chair of the Think20 task force on clean energy and green transitions. She was part of the Government of India’s long-term low emissions development strategy task group on transport, the national committee for carbon neutral village awards, and the science technology and innovation policy thematic group on energy, environment and climate change.

She previously worked as a consultant climate assessment specialist for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

About the Moderator

Santonu Goswami is a member of the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability and a faculty member at Azim Premji University. He is currently working towards strengthening India’s response to the climate crisis through data and models. 

Before joining Azim Premji University, he spent five and a half years as a Senior Scientist at NRSC-ISRO, focusing on studying key ecosystems in India, namely, coastal, riverine and Himalayan mountain ecosystems using data modelling of various time-series Geospatial and Climate datasets using open-source analytics tools. 

He has also worked as a Research Scientist at the Centre for Urban Science and Progress in NY, USA, where he analysed urban datasets of NYC to develop baseline scenarios for NYC neighbourhoods. 

He has also worked as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the US Department of Energy Laboratory at ORNL focused on data-model integration to understand climate change impacts on Arctic Ecosystems.