13, Dec 2023
University of Sydney fosters bilateral climate solutions in India

13th December 2023 – University of Sydney researchers and the Asia Society India Centre last week convened a roundtable to explore opportunities for climate action in India and Australia.

Discussions were led by distinguished speakers including Nishtha Singh from the Asia Society Policy Institute, Ambika Vishwanath of Kubernein Initiative, and Prof Deanna D’Alessandro, Director of the University of Sydney’s Net Zero Initiative.

A diverse consortium of researchers, industry leaders, academics, and NGOs attended and identified strategic bilateral collaboration opportunities between Australia and India.

India and Australia grapple with similar obstacles related to fossil fuel dependency, escalating energy demands, and emissions from the agricultural sector. The roundtable underscored priority areas for bilateral partnership, highlighting renewable energy technology, critical minerals, hydrogen initiatives, and transitioning from hard-to-abate sectors, marking a united effort to fortify clean energy relations.

Topics discussed included technology, encompassing the exchange of expertise on renewables, baseload technology, the circular economy, and the co-utilisation of land for Agrivoltaics. Incentives and policy insights examined aspects of carbon markets, pricing mechanisms, water management plans, and the streamlining of regulatory processes.

Addressing the concept of a just transition involved tackling diverse impacts across states, integrating indigenous knowledge, and facilitating job transitions to renewable sectors.

“India and Australia are remarkably similar in terms of the structures of our energy systems – perhaps two of the most closely related countries globally,” said Professor Penelope Crossley from the University of Sydney’s Law School. “This means that knowledge sharing is critical. We need to learn from one another, de-risk investment and accelerate progress.”

“We will never have a perfect solution for decarbonization,” said Dr Rashneh Pardiwala, Founder and Director, Centre for Environmental Research and Education, India. “But we cannot wait until we have all the knowledge. We need action to create knowledge and confidence through experience.”

“Adaptation is more costly than prevention – we urgently need to improve our energy efficiency, reduce our demand for unsustainable resources, and mitigate emissions,” said Nadir Godrej, Managing Director, Godrej Industries and Chairman of Godrej Agrovet, who attended the roundtable. “A key driver for change in India is corporate social responsibility.” –

The roundtable concluded by outlining actionable steps, including deeper exploration of priority areas, collaborative mechanisms transcending country-level agreements, and fostering inclusive engagement across sectors to expedite progress. Participants will reconvene in 2024 to advance its work program.