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In-Depth Jobs

Issue no 10, 03 - 09 June 2023

The Carbon Market Catalysing Job Creation in India's Energy Transition

Ankita Shrivastava

The carbon market is an innovative application of the tried-and-true supply and demand economic principle. The concept of carbon emissions trading is based on a simple yet impactful idea. Essentially, companies that can keep their carbon emissions within permissible levels can sell their excess emission allowances to other companies struggling to reduce their emissions. This system allows for a more efficient and cost-effective approach to reducing carbon emissions. Environmental concerns have become a top priority for many businesses in today's world. As a result, companies are seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint while still complying with environmental regulations. One strategic approach that has gained popularity is incentivising firms to take action towards reducing their carbon emissions. By offering incentives, companies are motivated to become more environmentally friendly. This approach not only benefits the environment. The promotion of green technologies is gaining momentum as it supports the worldwide transition towards cleaner energy sources. The development and adoption of eco-friendly technologies facilitate this shift. The carbon market has recently gained significant attention, leading to a surge in the adoption of renewable energy technologies. The attraction of the carbon market lies in its potential to incentivise companies to reduce their carbon footprint by offering them financial rewards for doing so. This has increased interest in renewable energy technologies, as they provide a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional energy sources. As more companies seek to reduce their carbon emissions and participate in the carbon market, the demand for renewable energy technologies will continue to rise. India is a country that is fortunate to have access to a wealth of renewable energy sources, including solar and wind power. With its rapidly growing energy needs, India has the potential to harness these resources to meet its energy demands. In recent years, corporations have been exploring ways to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the fight against climate change. One way they can do this is by spearheading renewable energy projects and generating carbon credits. These credits can then be traded in the carbon market allowing companies to offset their carbon emissions and support sustainable practices. By investing in renewable energy projects, corporations can generate carbon credits based on the amount of clean energy. India, a country with a growing economy and an increasing demand for energy, is undergoing a significant energy transition. As the world prioritises sustainable energy, India too is shifting its focus towards cleaner, renewable energy sources. A vital catalyst for this shift has been the global carbon market. Underpinning this metamorphosis is an intricate blend of the global carbon market and a resilient policy framework. This market has not only facilitated a transition to cleaner energy but has also spurred job creation, subsequently propelling socioeconomic development in the country. India's solar energy sector is experiencing rapid growth due to the carbon market. This rise in the solar energy landscape is remarkable. The demand for a skilled workforce in the solar industry has surged as companies rush to earn carbon credits by investing in solar initiatives. With the increasing focus on reducing carbon emissions, companies are looking to invest in renewable energy sources such as solar power. As a result, the need for skilled professionals in this sector has skyrocketed. Project management has given rise to a diverse range of job roles, each with its own responsibilities. From the initial stages of envisioning and constructing projects to overseeing day-today operations and maintenance, many different parts contribute to the success of a project. These roles require various skills and expertise and are essential to ensuring that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to stakeholders' satisfaction. On the other hand, India boasts one of the largest wind energy sectors in the world, and it has been able to reap the benefits of the carbon market. The wind energy industry in India has been able to capitalise on the carbon market, much like other sectors around the globe. Investing in wind energy projects has become a popular trend among companies, and it's not just for the sake of the environment. These companies also contribute to job creation in various domains, such as manufacturing, installation, and servicing of wind turbines. This has provided the workforce with diverse employment opportunities, making it a win-win situation for companies and job seekers. Clean energy is a rapidly growing sector beyond just solar and wind energy. Other sectors, such as biomass, small hydropower, and waste-to-energy projects, are also using the carbon market to create more job opportunities. These sectors are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to generate energy from sustainable sources, which is crucial in reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change. The carbon market provides a platform for these renewable energy projects to sell their carbon credits, which in turn helps to fund their operations and create more employment opportunities. As a result, the renewable energy sector is not only helping to reduce carbon emissions but also contributing to the economy's growth through job creation. The utilisation of renewable resources by companies has led to a significant increase in energy generation and the acquisition of carbon credits. This has resulted in the expansion of these sectors and a subsequent surge in job opportunities. The climate change narrative has been resounding across the globe, urging industries, governments, and individuals to mitigate their carbon emissions and adapt to sustainable practices. As a result, the carbon market has entered a period of unprecedented expansion and job creation as follows:

Consultancy Services: Leading the Charge towards Carbon Neutrality Companies worldwide seek to reduce their carbon footprints and adapt to sustainable practices. Consequently, there is a surge in demand for experts who can guide these companies toward carbon neutrality. Consultants specialising in carbon markets offer their expertise on best practices for reducing emissions and aid in implementing sustainable strategies, thereby emerging as a promising career option.

Carbon Trading - Navigating the Green Marketplace: A specialised sector within the carbon market is carbon trading, where firms deal in the purchase and sale of carbon credits. This sector seeks professionals who understand trading, risk management, and regulatory frameworks concerning carbon markets. Opportunities abound for those proficient in these areas.

Project Development: Project development forms the backbone of the carbon market. Companies that aim to generate carbon credits through renewable energy, afforestation, or energy efficiency initiatives require project management, engineering, and environmental science experts. If you possess these skills, the project development sector in the carbon market is ripe with opportunities.

Policy and Regulation: As India's carbon market evolves, it requires an expert workforce that can contribute to shaping and implementing crucial regulatory frameworks. Government bodies, NGOs, think tanks and academic institutions provide ample scope for careers in this direction

Research and Development: Research into novel technologies and practices for reducing carbon emissions is essential for developing the carbon market Universities, private companies, or research institutes offer several positions for researchers in this field, paving the way for significant breakthroughs.

Corporate Sustainability Roles: With corporations focusing on sustainability, new roles are emerging to lead these initiatives. Positions that involve coordinating a company's efforts towards reducing its carbon footprint, reporting on sustainability initiatives, and ensuring regulatory compliance have become indispensable in the corporate sector.

Verification and Validation Services: The carbon market also has a significant demand for third-party validators and verifiers. These professionals assess whether projects genuinely reduce emissions as claimed. An understanding of carbon markets and emissions reduction methodologies, coupled with skills in auditing, would be beneficial in this role Education and Training: With the growth of the carbon market, there will be an increased demand for education and training in this field. Teaching, developing training materials, and creating online courses are essential components of this sector, nurturing the next generation of carbon market professionals. It is important to acknowledge that the opportunities in India's carbon market are highly dynamic as we move forward. These opportunities are heavily influenced by international climate agreements, national policies, and technological advancements. Therefore, individuals aspiring to enter or professionals already working in this field are advised to stay updated with the latest developments. The evolving landscape of the carbon market continues to unfold new possibilities. India's energy transition and carbon market are guided by a robust policy framework, which plays a crucial role in shaping the country's approach to these issues. The policies implemented by the Indian Government provide a solid foundation for the country's efforts to transition to cleaner energy sources and reduce its carbon footprint. These policies are essential to ensure that India can effectively and sustainably achieve its energy and climate goals. The country's commitment to these policies reflects its dedication to creating a more sustainable future for its citizens and the world. The Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme is a marketbased mechanism that encourages energy-intensive industries to adopt more efficient practices. This measure is one of several implemented to promote sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint of enterprises. The PAT scheme operates by setting energy efficiency targets for participating industries, which must achieve these targets within a specified timeframe. If an industry surpasses its target, it receives energy-saving certificates that can be traded on the market. This incentivises industries to adopt more efficient practices as they can generate revenue from selling these certificates. Overall, the PAT scheme effectively promotes sustainability and encourages enterprises to adopt more efficient methods. The Government's commitment to obtaining 40% of its energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement, has resulted in increased investments in renewable energy and a boost to the carbon market. India aims to further nurture the carbon market by expanding its policy framework and implementation strategies. This will involve increasing renewable energy targets, expanding the PAT scheme, and providing funding for initiatives that enhance and train workers in the renewable energy sector. We view the green energy transformation in India, guided by the carbon market and a robust policy framework, as a pivotal moment where environmental stewardship and societal development are interconnected. As businesses invest more in renewable energy and realise the benefits of carbon credits, a wide range of job opportunities are created. Therefore, the carbon market is crucial for achieving a harmonious balance between environmental preservation and economic growth. This bodes well for India's energy future, demonstrating how green energy supports environmental sustainability, economic growth, and job creation.

(The author is Research Scholar in Biotechnology, SRH University, Dehradun. She can be reached at ankitashrivastav062@gmail. com)

Views expressed are personal.