Approach for Low Resource Intensity and Sustainability
in Emerging Economies like India
Over the course of last decade, a global impetus has emerged on the need to manage the global
resource footprint to attempt containment of climatic changes otherwise expected to adversely impact the earth’s habitat in the next
While this wide-felt need has led to several frameworks for a global regime
(such as the Kyoto Protocol), true global consensus has not matured so far primarily due to the differing perspectives in the strategic imperatives desired for themselves by the various countries. The root of the challenge lies in the development goals and how that relates to the current growth stage and the future growth needs of different countries round the globe.
A country like India needs to grow at 8-10% a year to bring its 400+million population out of poverty. This means development of infrastructure (energy, transportation, etc.) as well as increased consumption: all of which mean additional carbon emissions
as well greater natural resource utilization, that too at a growing rate. To put it in perspective, the per-capita carbon footprint in developing countries is still a fraction of that of developed countries. And it is this ‘growth paradox’ which shapes the challenge for global policy makers in carving a global regime:
be it for carbon or water - How can development and economic growth continue while at the same time transitioning towards more efficient
In the world economy today, basic natural resources
(air, water and land) are under-priced causing a behavioral pattern leading towards its overuse
and/or misuse. e.g. for a car-owner, his/her running cost assumes that the cost of air (that the car needs to consume and mix with gasoline) is free. Yet it is not, because the car releases CO2-enriched-air which needs to be recycled through the Earth's carbon cycle to restore the level of balance.
Extending this to an entire supply chain, this is an exponential issue that is putting a strain on the Earth's recycling capacity and could cause it to break down.
However this promise cannot be realized without a full understanding of the key dynamics currently limiting the situation:
- In addition to balancing the developmental needs of various countries with the
resource reduction requirements, the current construct of various initiatives appears to define the segment more as a ‘tax’ limited to certain industries rather than a ‘true market’. This in itself is limiting since true mechanism for inducing a lasting behavioral change is non-existent and as such micro retail level market remains at an abysmal level.
- Almost all our current production and
consumption systems are linear i.e. they commence with resource
extraction and consumption ends with resource wastage, where the
waste is almost always not recyclable. Future solutions will
require a feedback loop in production and consumption will have
to operate in a closed-cycle.
- Information asymmetry and tedious process leading to several mid-sized industrial participants remaining as passive players.
- Lack of a holistic ecosystem for nurturing newer initiatives including innovative business models enabling the rise of mini and micro products facilitating
closed-loop and resource efficient solutions.
- Current resource monitoring and verification methods seems inappropriate for the mass scale initiatives. This is a critical need to ensure investor interest as also the efficacy of the regime.
These lacunae indicate the need for an agency that works with various stakeholders, both at policy and market level, to architect solutions to facilitate mainstreaming of
resource efficient economies.
cKinetics vies to play the role of such an agency through its various service offerings. cKinetics looks to address the various facets of the
resource challenge and shape up market-based closed-loop solutions
to ensure a more sustainable world.