G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

Green transition during India’s G20 presidency


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Green transition, India's G20 presidency


Central Idea

  • Energy transitions are central to the G20 agenda. In 2023, during India’s presidency, the geopolitics and governance of energy have become immensely challenging, as the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, concerns about energy security and, in many cases, the pressure on keeping financial commitments made related to tackling climate change have become complicated.

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What is mean by Green Transition?

  • Moving away from fossil fuels: The Green transition involves shifting away from traditional sources of energy that contribute to climate change, such as coal and oil.
  • For example: In 2021, the Indian government announced plans to stop the import of coal by 2024 and to reduce the country’s reliance on coal for power generation
  • Embracing renewable energy: The transition involves embracing cleaner and more renewable sources of energy, such as solar, wind, and hydropower.
  • Examples: In 2021, the Gujarat government announced plans to set up a 500 MW solar park, which is expected to be the world’s largest solar park upon completion. In 2021, Google announced plans to power all of its data centers and offices using carbon-free energy sources by 2030.
  • Reducing carbon emissions: The Green transition involves reducing carbon emissions from transportation, industry, and other sectors.
  • For instance, “Switch Delhi campaign”: In 2020, the Delhi government launched the Switch Delhi campaign to promote electric vehicles and reduce air pollution in the city.
  • Promoting sustainable lifestyles: It involves promoting sustainable lifestyles and behaviours, such as reducing waste and conserving resources.
  • India’s LiFE example: The LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) campaign is an initiative launched by the Indian to promote sustainable lifestyles and reduce the environmental impact by taking actions at individual level.
  • Encouraging sustainable innovation: The Green transition involves encouraging innovation in sustainable technologies and practices.
  • For instance: In 2021, The Government of India announced plans to set up a National Hydrogen Energy Mission to promote the use of hydrogen as a clean energy source in various sectors.

Energy Poverty at present

  • Increasing energy poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: The International Energy Agency counts 20 million more people worldwide without electricity now compared to 2021. Predictably, the worst-affected are in sub-Saharan Africa, which is back to its lowest rate of electrification since 2013.
  • Inadequate energy supply in Europe: In Europe, the number of people experiencing inadequate energy supply has risen to 80 million from 34 million in 2021.
  • Middle-income countries face fuel and electricity shortages: Even middle-income countries in Africa, South America and Asia face fuel and electricity shortages and high levels of inflation.
  • Reduced availability of energy impact on economies and public health: Reduced availability of energy is hurting economies as industries close, and is impacting public health as safe fuels such as cooking gas become expensive.
  • Balance of payments crisis and high energy costs: A number of countries also face a balance of payments crisis, partly driven by high energy costs.
  • Global impact on sustainable development goals (SDG): Energy poverty is global and widespread, impacting technology implementation, industry and SDGs all of which are also G20 goals.


Suggestions to produce swift results for India’s G20 presidency

  • Financial support as a cornerstone of climate action and energy transition: The G20 should prioritize providing financial support to those in need as a fundamental aspect of climate action and energy transition under the UNFCC Protocol, as emphasized and reinforced in the Paris Agreement and successive Conference of the Parties (COPs).
  • Galvanizing the pursuit of financial support: Although financial support to developing countries has increased over time, it still falls short of what is necessary for a successful transition to a low-carbon economy. The G20 has the potential to mobilize efforts and drive momentum towards securing the funding required for climate action and energy transition.
  • Public Financing alone is insufficient: Public financing alone will not be sufficient to address the current energy challenges faced globally. Private finance is necessary to complement public finance.
  • Innovative approaches to climate financing: Innovative approaches are required to address the financing needs of climate action. These approaches could include blending finance with public and private capital to create a unified effort. Additionally, impediments like exchange rate risks must be addressed to ensure smooth financing of projects.
  • Creation of a Global Climate Finance Agency to better integrate and drive global agenda: The agency could be mandated to lower hedging costs to mitigate a key risk faced by developers of green projects and insure major clean energy projects from potential losses due to government utilities failing to meet supply and payment obligations, which is a common issue in developing countries like India.
  • Harnessing power of public procurement system: The G20 can use the public procurement system to speed up energy transitions and drive significant change. Effective public procurement can ensure funding and adaptation at scale, which has been proven through abundant evidence.



  • The G20 should encourage financial centres and business communities, to create new business models and technologies for energy transitions. This will require cooperation and collaboration between financial centres, including through green financing and economy taxonomies. By doing so, the G20 can accelerate climate transition and energy security for all.

Mains question

Q. Briefly explain the concept of green transition. How India’s g20 presidency can lead the world towards Green transition? Discuss.

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