The World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a not-for-profit CEO-led body that seeks to promote sustainable development, wants to help push renewable energy growth in India.


The Council met in New Delhi last week when it launched a ‘Renewable Energy Initiative’ under its global programme called ‘low carbon partnership initiative’. Speaking to BusinessLine about the Renewable Energy Initiative, the Council’s President and CEO, Peter Bakker, said three areas of work had been identified — technology for micro-grids, increasing demand for renewable energy, and financing renewable energy projects, with particular focus on green bonds.


Bakker finds finance one of the key barriers to renewable energy development. Asked what the Council would do to “increase demand for renewable energy”, he said the idea would be to get companies buy renewable energy. He gave the example of Unilever’s agreement in the US to buy green energy from NRG, a US-based utility.


The Council, Bakker said, works with the “RE100” initiative of the green NGO, The Climate Group, an initiative that gets companies commit to go fully green for their energy needs. (Incidentally, many companies joined the RE100 initiative on Tuesday. These include Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, NIKE, Inc., Procter & Gamble, Salesforce, Starbucks, Steelcase, Voya Financial, and Walmart.)


In India, WBCSD works with YES Bank for furthering its interests. YES Bank’s Senior President and Country Head – Responsible Banking and Chief Sustainability Officer, Namita Vikas, said the bank was recently nominated by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for accreditation as the National Implementing Entity with the Green Climate Fund (GCF).


The GCF is a fund that has been agreed upon by the 195 member countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The funds will go towards financing green projects that can help mitigate climate change effects. Once it gets the accreditation, Yes Bank would “take up adaptation and mitigation projects for funding to the GCF,” Vikas said.


Annual contributions into the GCF are meant to go up to $100 billion by 2020, but in the five years since it was set up, the fund has only received $10 billion in pledges and only half of that in actual contributions.


On this, Bakker said, “Wait till October,” referring to the annual meeting of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and IMF that is to be held in Lima, Peru. The Council expects fund flows into the GCF to increase after the Lima meeting next month.