The Chennai Climate Consortium
What can accelerate industrial decarbonization?
Many things, obviously.
But can a local approach help?
In my last 15 years in the climate tech sector, one thing I have seen is the speed at which solution adoption happens within geographical clusters. If a textile factory in Tiruppur has solar panels on its rooftop, you will see a hundred of them in the city having them within a year. One reason for this phenomenon is obvious – local peer influence.
There is another aspect to local in the context of climate tech. Most climate solutions are engineering solutions – and as we go further along into deep industrial decarbonization, we will likely be staring at deeper engineering and technology, disruptive innovations, with many of them requiring multiple, diverse stakeholders to make them work. It could take forever if these stakeholders are spread all over the country. What if they are all – or at least most of them are – present locally? The answer is obvious. This can lead to the formation of highly efficient, geo specific industry clusters for climate solutions that can have significant low carbon implications for the city and beyond.
The Chennai Climate Consortium is an idea – you can even call it an experiment – that plans to build on the above two dimensions. A bunch of us (my team, the team at Illumine-i , Nithish Sairam to name a few, and Vineeth Vijayaraghavan) have kicked off the concept of Chennai Climate Consortium in real earnest.
The objective is to use it as a multi stakeholder platform that provides focussed awareness on effective climate solutions for Chennai based industrial & commercial sectors, and in parallel tries to build & grow a climate solution provider ecosystem in the geography. There are of course other dimensions, but our hypothesis is that these two can form the key drivers around which others can be organized.
I have been in the climate tech business long enough to know that building and creating real value from the Chennai Climate Consortium will take time. But if it works, this can be such a satisfying thing to do for your own city, and more important, it is a blue print that hundreds of large cities around the world can adopt.
We will be doing a soft launch of this consortium at the CLIMAFIX Summit starting tomorrow. I’m hoping to get inputs from you all on how best we can take this forward.
See my LinkedIn post on this topic