Mumbai, 30th Sep: Read the blog, “India’s time to lead collective action on ESG” by Abhishek Mittal, Partner, Aavishkaar Capital.
Featured on Times of India, the blog talks about the three priority areas India should drive conversations around, when it assumes the Presidency of the G20 for a year starting this December till the end of November 2023.
Early last month, Abhishek Mittal had attended the G20 Digital Innovation Network (G20 DIN) as part of MeitY’s delegation in Bali, Indonesia representing Indian VCs as part of Indian Venture & Alternate Capital Association (IVCA).
India will assume the Presidency of the G20 for a year starting from this December till the end of November 2023. As we look to firm up our priorities for G20, India should drive conversation around three priority areas where she has had varying degrees of success — women empowerment, circular economy, and innovative financing. A dialogue around these can enable concrete policy-making to deliver on the global goal of inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth.
Women & Sustainable Development
India has the potential to propel world economic growth for the next few decades. But that promise would come undone if we do not invest to empower our 700 million women to contribute to our economy in a productive manner. We have today more women in senior management than the world average but a lot more can be done. Private sector interventions such as microfinance have done a tremendous job in pushing women entrepreneurship. But to achieve full gender parity, we need a global agenda, addressing all aspects of women’s lives with systemic and cross-cutting policies. Comprehensive and early interventions such as bettering health outcomes, improving STEM, digital and financial literacy can reduce or eliminate the future gender gap. Innovation in technology has reduced the costs for delivering such outcomes and we should find ways to provide financial and ecosystem support to entrepreneurs devising innovative solutions to achieve such outcomes. . Forums such as the G20 can help generate governmental and multilateral support for such initiatives and help translate success stories to other frontier markets.
Circular economy – a key pillar of Transformation
Incorporating circular economy strategies in the entire lifecycle and value chain of major industries from raw material procurement, manufacturing, consumption and end-of-life uses to automotive, clothing & textile, electronics & white goods, construction, to name a few, has the potential to deliver billions in economic benefits. Devising sector-agnostic methodology and global standards for EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) norms could go a long way in promoting resource efficiency and internalizing end-of-life management costs of recyclable materials. NITI Aayog has finalized circular economy action plans for 10 types of wastes in India and it could be a good starting point for further discussions with other G20 member countries.
Finally, Indian enterprises and impact investors have successfully challenged the long-held view that social returns need philanthropic capital and the India Impact Investing success story is being replicated across global emerging markets. India is now leading the way in how blended finance structures can solve the world’s most pressing problems. SEBI recently came out with a detailed framework for a social stock exchange allowing non-profits to be listed on the bourses. Indian fund managers are today launching innovative financing structures such as ESG Fund and Carbon Fund to invest in sustainable and inclusive enterprises across the globe. India and France have come together to launch the International Solar Alliance that is working closely with the private sector to create a blended finance structure with an audacious goal of bringing electricity to every home on the planet.
G20 countries account for 85% of the world GDP and 75% of international trade, making it an ideal forum to discuss international economic cooperation. However, it represents only 2/3rd of the world population making it less than fully representative of the issues faced by the global population. India as the incoming G20 President, along with Indonesia and Brazil, the predecessor and the successor countries respectively, represent the troika that is responsible for ensuring continuity of the G20 agenda. It would be the first time in the history of G20 that the troika comprises 3 emerging economies. It is not only a great opportunity but also a moral responsibility for India to represent the global south and lend voice to the unrepresented.
To read the blog on TOI- Click Here