Soon after India confirmed its intention to contribute towards climate change mitigation, the United Nations recognised 1,000 rural Indian women internationally on September 28, by honouring them with the ‘United Nations Momentum for Change Climate Change Award’, for their initiatives in clean energy entrepreneurship.
After India ratified the Paris Climate Agreement, the country’s willingness to contribute towards climate change mitigation went rural as well.
Recently, 1,000 rural women in India built a rural distribution network of women entrepreneurs facilitating access to clean energy, water and sanitation services and products in several communities.
With the help of Swayam Shikshan Prayog, an Indian NGO, the women are majorly distributing solar lights and cooking stoves, in villages, that are priced between INR 500-700 and INR 2,500-3,000, respectively. Monthly instalments are also offered to those who cannot pay for them at one go. Because of these clean stoves, over 200,000 households in India can now save 100 tonnes of fuel wood every day.
Established in 1989, Swayam Shikshan Prayog is training these women to become clean energy entrepreneurs across the Indian states of Maharashtra and Bihar. The NGO even received a financial support from state government, the US Agency for International Development, Misereor, Europe and CSR funds from HSBC bank and Alstom.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) awarded these women with the UN Momentum for Change Climate Change Award and listed the initiative under the 13 game changer initiatives from around the world for climate change. The Momentum for Change initiative by the UN is to recognise some of the most innovative, scalable and replicable examples of what people are doing to address climate change.
All 13 winners will be showcased at a series of special events during the UN climate change conference in Marrakech, Morocco, from November 7-18, 2016.
A sustainable approach
Apart from the rural initiatives, India had also confirmed that it will take major steps to contribute to the climate action which will include reducing emission intensity by 35 pc, building 40 pc capacities for power generation from non-fossil fuels, creating additional carbon sink of 2.5 billion tonnes, investing in reducing vulnerability and enhancing adaptation to climate change.
Along with this, the country will work to save 80 million tonnes of carbon equivalent per annum and to increase public transport in three years.
India holds a strong ambition for sustainable development and was among the top 10 countries investing in renewable energy in 2015, with an investment of over EUR 9 billion.