The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has reiterated what we have all feared — that human-induced climate change is gathering pace.

A huge part of this will be a direct result of our reliance on fossil fuels for industrial power. Their energy density and cost have so far made them invaluable, but industries around the world must decarbonise rapidly for any hope of containing global warming to 1.5°C by 2100. Not just governments, business leaders too need to step up and commit to slashing emissions as soon as possible.

The situation is immediately relevant to India because of its propensity for heatwaves, drought, cyclones and flash floods. Industry accounts for 23.2 per cent of India’s GDP, but it will be severely affected by the rising temperature in the next 9-10 years. A study of more than 58,000 factories across India by the Energy Policy Institute, University of Chicago, shows that manufacturing plants generate about two per cent less revenue for every one-degree Celsius rise in annual temperature. Thus, by 2030, diminished labour productivity alone could reduce GDP by 2.5-4.5 per cent….