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India’s turning point

Leading on climate action is a US$11 trillion opportunity for India

Mumbai – 23 August 2021: A new report from the Deloitte Economics Institute shows India must act now to prevent the country losing US$35 trillion in economic potential over the next 50 years due to unmitigated climate change. The report, titled, “India’s turning point: How climate action can drive our economic future”, also reveals how the country could gain US$11 trillion in economic value instead over the same period, by limiting rising global temperatures and realising its potential to ‘export decarbonisation’ to the world.

“We have a narrow window of time—the next 10 years—to make the decisions needed to alter the trajectory of climate change. No one is immune to the impact of climate change, but for India this is a window of opportunity to lead the way and show how climate action is not a narrative of cost but one of sustainable economic growth. As India aspires to be a US$5 Trillion economy, it is not just foreign and domestic investments that will be key in driving growth, we must also take this opportunity to align our ambitions with climate choices,” says Atul Dhawan, Chairperson, Deloitte India.

With no action taken on climate change, the average global temperatures could rise by 3°C or more by the end of this century. This will make it harder for people to live and work, as sea levels rise, crop yields fall, infrastructure is damaged, and other challenges emerge, threatening the progress and prosperity that the nation has enjoyed in recent decades.

Over the next 50 years, the top five most impacted industries in terms of economic activity are expected to incur a significant share of climate-related loss. These industries —services (government and private), manufacturing, retail and tourism, construction, and transport — currently account for more than 80 percent of India’s GDP. Together, they form the basis of the country’s contemporary economic engine. Deloitte estimates that by 2070, these five industries alone would experience an annual loss in the value added to GDP of more than US$1.5 trillion per year.

Deloitte’s research also shows that if governments, businesses, and communities act boldly and rapidly in the next decade to address climate change, average global temperature rises can be limited to around 1.5°C by 2050 – a scenario that will minimise the impact of climate change for India and the rest of the world. At the same time, India can achieve significant economic growth by supplying the products, services, and financing the world will need to limit temperature increases.

India is home to many enterprises that are already world-leading producers of the advanced solutions countries will need to address climate change. These include green hydrogen and negative-emission solutions, both natural and technological.

“We need to transform the world’s economies towards new, low-emission pathways and India is well positioned to play a leading role in this process globally. By making the right choices now, India could chart a more prosperous path towards a low-emission future, accelerating progress in the rest of the world by exporting key technologies, processes, and know-how,” says Viral Thakker, Partner and Sustainability Leader, Deloitte India.

Accelerated decarbonisation could bring significant benefits to India and the world. India could use the transition to a low-emission footing to restructure its economy towards growth in advanced industrial sectors, leveraging lower cost clean energy export markets, as the region experiences a rapid increase in energy demand over the coming years.
As a developing nation, India’s transformation to a low-emission footing is likely to be more complex and challenging than much of the rest of Asia Pacific. It will have to strike a delicate balance between the need for sustained economic development—and the corresponding rise in energy demand—and investing in and transitioning to emerging, low-emission technologies. The structural adjustment costs associated with reducing India’s emissions profile are expected to be significant, but the cost of inaction will be greater.

Deloitte’s report sets out four key stages for India’s climate transition. According to the Deloitte forecasts, economic benefits would be observed from the first year that bold climate policy decisions start delivering rapid investment and technology development. In 2070 alone, this would equate to GDP growth of 8.5 percent.

  • These start with the government and businesses making bold decisions to act on climate change now, and develop or expand their related strategies. Those decisions would see the economy start to decarbonise between now and 2030.
  • From 2030 to 2040, India and the world would need to complete large and coordinated shifts to reduce carbon emissions by tackling how energy is produced and consumed.
  • 2040 to 2055 is the turning point, where the world avoids locking in temperature increases of 3°C or more. By this period, the process of decarbonising high-emission industries would be almost complete, the cost of green solutions would start to fall, and wider net economic gains would begin to emerge.
  • After 2055, India’s economy would have been radically transformed and be producing near-zero emissions. There would have been a rapid gain in economic dividends from global decarbonisation, while global temperature rises would have been limited to reaching a maximum of 1.5°C by the end of the century.

About the Deloitte Economics Institute
The Deloitte Economics Institute combines foresight with sophisticated analysis to shape and unlock economic, environmental, financial, and social value. Connecting leading global insight and local knowledge with an independent perspective, it illuminates future opportunities and drives progress.

The Institute offers a full suite of economic services to governments, businesses, and community groups around macroeconomic and microeconomic analysis, including economic forecasting and modeling, policy and program evaluation, impact and contribution studies, and regulatory economics. It employs a team of more than 400 economists across Asia Pacific, the Americas, and Europe.

This press release has been issued by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP .
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. Please see for a more detailed description of DTTL and its member firms.

Media contact

Spriha Jayati
Deloitte India
Tel: +91 9323744249

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