OPINION: Startups are the ones actually solving climate change


By Ravi Kumar, Vice President, Oorjan Cleantech

Companies have a huge impact in changing the fabric of the society. For instance, it is because  of Ford Motors that we have access to such affordable four-wheelers. Automobiles are now a  ubiquitous phenomenon.

Some of the most iconoclastic companies have been the ones who have  taken some highbrow technology and made it more accessible and affordable to the common  man so that the benefits are not limited to only heavyweights of society. 

The biggest threat our species is facing today is indisputably climate change. One of my deepest  beliefs is that there’s no problem in this world that cannot be solved using technology. But  there’s no one piece of technology or one type of startup that could solve something so complex  and something so urgent.

Some startups are doing excellent work to tackle climate change in various ways. BluSmart,  based out of Gurugram, is an all-electric ride-sharing company. Banyan Nation from Telangana  helps brands use more recycled plastic rather than polluting ones.

Phool out of Kanpur is a  biomaterials startup that takes temple waste like flowers and converts it into products like  incense sticks. Pi Green Innovations, is a Pune-based company that makes products like air  purifiers, that produce clean breathable air devoid of pollutants.

Just Organik from Uttarakhand  produces organic food and has a mission of creating wealth for farmers by eliminating  middlemen and encouraging farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices.

Unicorns in the space of climate technology attained unicorn status faster than any other sector in  the world of VC. Climate tech startups achieve unicorn status on average in 4 years, whereas  companies in other sectors do it in 7 years.

The International Energy Agency predicts investment in emerging low-carbon technologies will  cost the world $21 trillion over the next ten years. A large part of this funding was allocated to  two sub-sectors: energy management and electric vehicles.

A multitude of upcoming companies  is working in the field of biotechnology, carbon capture, green hydrogen, biofuels, aggrotech,  water tech, energy storage, and production.

According to Deloitte, climate change is likely to cause the Indian economy nearly $35 trillion in  this decade while developing and exporting climate solutions could lead to an $11 trillion gain.  India suffered an income loss of 5.4% of GDP due to heat waves, the highest among the G20  nations in 2021. After the USA (7561) and the United Kingdom (2503), India is the third largest  ecosystem of climate technology companies, with 2260 companies.

The total climate tech investment in 2022 stood at around 22.5 billion dollars. In India  specifically, green investment is still in its embryonic stage. 7 billion dollars was raised by  Indian climate tech startups through private market and venture funding.

Indian startups are showing lateral thinking at their finest. The energy and enthusiasm among the  youth to solve the world’s problems is quite palpable and heartening to see. We have proven we  are not only a leader in environmental stewardship but also a chalk horse in the startup  ecosystem.

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