Making the climate change transition involves an unprecedented reallocation of capital – and the task is to build the financial architecture that can deliver these flows within deadline. COP-22 has to raise more, cheaper and better quality finance for climate action.
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The sheen is coming off China’s state-owned oil companies, which have been hit by the country’s political churning and by their own excesses of buying assets at the peak of the cycle. Now with oil prices low, India has the chance to make well-priced acquisitions without Chinese competition.
India has applied to be a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, but its ambition is being thwarted by China. However, developments in renewable energy mean China’s veto will have little impact on India’s clean energy push.
Relatively low fossil fuel prices have created a favourable climate for the Modi government to secure India’s growing energy needs in a sustainable manner and at fair prices. The government should also encourage locally-built wind and nuclear options to secure India’s long-term needs.
The U.S. and Canada offer an opportunity for India to acquire large scale oil and gas fields in politically stable countries at a low price. A financial investment in energy companies will protect India against a rise in energy prices without raising concerns in host countries.
Once the fourth and final global Nuclear Security Summit is held this week in Washington, D.C., the challenge will primarily be for bureaucrats to continue working and keep leaders engaged on nuclear security. Inertia on this issue, especially when there is growing intelligence on security breaches, could be deadly.
After the recent WTO ruling against India on the issue of local content of solar panels, India must revise its renewable energy strategy in favour of wind power. Instead of imported solar panels, India’s renewable capacities can use locally-manufactured windmills.
The WTO judgment on the India-U.S. dispute on solar panels shows how rules across different international regimes – climate change, trade and nuclear power – favor the countries which set those rules. India must deepen its participation in such multilateral fora to protect its interests.
India’s recent ratification of the nuclear liability convention is being portrayed as a dilution of India’s stand on civil nuclear liability and its own 2010 law on the subject. This is, however, incorrect, and India’s stand on nuclear liability remains unchanged.
India could save $80 billion annually if oil prices stay at the current 12-year low. Policy-makers must use this opportunity to lock-in energy prices for the long-term. Financial markets, through futures and options, offer a way to make these savings permanent, and the Ministry of Finance must formulate ground rules for hedging.