India’s steel industry is facing a tougher new environment test that aims to keep its industry sustainable for decades to come.
India’s state-owned steel makers, such as Hindustan Steel, have been working for decades on improving their quality control systems and reducing their carbon emissions.
But in the last few years, they have also been forced to adapt to a more efficient, green and more resilient industry, which is now facing a tough new challenge.
“They are now facing the biggest challenges ever,” said Amit Singhal, professor of environmental economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, who has been researching India’s industry for years.
Singhal, who is also a director of the Center for Climate Change and Development (CCDC), said the state-run companies had to adapt their processes, reduce the amount of steel they use, and diversify away from producing steel for commercial use.
In the US, there is a big push to increase carbon emissions from steelmaking, which will be a major contributor to climate change.
But there is no immediate evidence that India’s industrial giants are taking that kind of pressure seriously.
Ahead of the Paris climate summit in December, India and China announced a joint goal to cut their CO2 emissions by 5 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
The deal also pledged to slash emissions by a further 30 percent from 2005 levels, with an extra goal to halve the annual growth rate by 2030 from 2005.
But the targets were conditional on the US agreeing to a similar agreement.
Singh said that the US and India have a very different climate vision.
India does not believe in the climate-change deal at the Paris conference and has instead said that it would like to work out a new deal that would include the emissions reductions promised.
“The US has been the one pushing for this and has not been able to get a deal, so it has basically done it in its own terms,” Singhal said.
India and the US are currently negotiating the Paris deal.
Singham said India has been trying to reduce its CO2 footprint as part of its own efforts to reduce emissions from industrial and agricultural activities, but said that as the economy gets smaller and the population gets more urbanised, it will have to reduce those emissions.
“If the population grows and the economy is not growing, you will have a hard time getting to that target, and so you are going to have to look for other ways to reduce your emissions,” he said.