India's chemical industry is expected to reach US $300 billion by 2025 from the current US $180 billion. This shows that there are immense opportunities for chemical companies but the big question is how to achieve that growth in a sustainable manner.
Globally, Industry experts are talking about COP26 and environmental responsibilities and the role chemical companies will play in the broader scheme of decarbonization and helping in achieving the target. The industry is already playing a key role in addressing the climate crisis so it is not only about reducing emissions but also helping other industries to meet their sustainability goals and that is where the real opportunity lies.
The commitments on emission control made by India at the recent Glasgow COP26 summit of achieving net zero target by 2070 and reducing Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 1 billion MT by 2030 is expected to benefit the country in the long-term with new technologies in energy efficiency, carbon reduction, and green fuels etc. This is likely to attract investment in billions and also requires a focused approach.
The chemical industry is playing a leadership role in driving sustainability by adoption of green molecules and adopting sustainability practices on a larger scale. The industry needs to work with the power industry to adopt renewable energy. Focus should also be on R&D and the ability to collaborate with academia and research institutes so that we can come with sustainable solutions that decarbonization throws up.
Ambitious targets for COP26 opens massive investment opportunities across segments stemming from 500 GW renewables by 2030, higher EV penetration (around 10% by 2025), 20% ethanol blending for petrol, improvement in energy efficiencies and improvement in carbon capture and use of digital technologies. This would be a daunting task, and would need massive policy interventions to ensure investments.
Governments around the world need to do more to provide incentives for research on chemical reactions that require less energy, manufacturing processes that generate less waste, and products that are less harmful to the environment. A collaborative effort by industry, academia, and government is needed to achieve a sustainable society.
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