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CDP in India: A Deep Dive

Overview of CDP and Its Impact

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) stands as a pivotal not-for-profit charity, orchestrating a global environmental disclosure system that has significantly influenced the way companies, cities, states, and regions manage their environmental impacts. By facilitating the measurement and management of risks and opportunities related to climate change, water security, and deforestation, CDP has become a cornerstone in the global effort to mitigate environmental degradation. The initiative is propelled by the engagement of investors, purchasers, and city stakeholders, with over 680 investors wielding assets exceeding US$130 trillion requesting disclosures through CDP in 2022 alone. This engagement has led to a record-breaking 18,700+ corporate disclosures in 2022, marking a 233% increase since the Paris Agreement in 2015. In India, CDP has been active since 2012, evolving into an effective platform for Indian corporations to support decarbonization through Supply Chain Engagement, Science-Based Targets (SBT), and Internal Carbon Pricing (ICP). Notably, CDP India was mentioned in India's INDC submission to the UNFCCC for its corporate environmental data repository and played a significant role in driving climate action during COP27. The disclosures in India saw a 40% increase in companies disclosing on climate change, water security, and forests in 2022, with 58% of these companies having a transition plan aligned with a 1.5°C world.

Decarbonization Strategies and Financial Impacts

In 2022, 122 Indian companies responded to CDP's Climate Change Questionnaire, with 104 acknowledging the influence of climate-related risks and opportunities on their business areas. The financial impact from these risks was estimated to be INR 2,842 billion by Indian companies, while the identified opportunity was approximately INR 31,000 Billion, showcasing a tenfold increase from 2021. A staggering 97% of companies reporting through CDP India have board-level oversight of climate issues, with 82% presenting a quarterly report to the board on climate-related issues. Key decarbonization strategies include Science-Based Targets (SBTs) and Internal Carbon Pricing (ICP), alongside Renewable Energy (RE) and the Indian Supply Chain Program. Mumbai has notably launched India's first climate action plan aiming for net-zero targets by 2050, with 12 cities reporting having a climate action plan and 7 currently undertaking one. The top three mitigation actions reported by cities encompass stationary energy, transportation, and waste management, with adaptation actions focusing on ecosystem-based actions, engineered, and built environment actions.

Carbon Disclosure Project India Image

Water Security and Forest Conservation Efforts

CDP India's 2022 disclosures also shed light on water security and forest conservation efforts, emphasizing the role of corporate action in addressing deforestation. The importance of biodiversity and ecosystem health for sustainable Nature-based Solutions (NbS) was highlighted, with CDP including a specific module on biodiversity in the Climate Change questionnaire in 2022. Cities are undertaking educational and informational actions to enhance their robustness and resilience to climate change, with an increased focus on commodity-driven deforestation and forest degradation. CDP's theory of change underscores the significance of data collection in tackling biodiversity challenges, aiming for sustainable NbS that provide measurable benefits for biodiversity and ecosystem health.

Corporate Climate Leadership and Global Collaboration

CDP champions corporate net-zero pathways that align with the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, facilitating corporate climate target setting and global collaboration towards a net-zero future. It encourages investment in monitoring tools, traceability systems, and the development of sustainability standards, promoting greater stakeholder engagement, collaboration, and transparency in environmental disclosure. CDP’s global policy brief supports policymakers in designing high-quality mandatory environmental disclosure policies, with updated principles for high-quality mandatory disclosure reflecting the evolving policy landscape. CDP’s 2025 Strategy aims to expand thematic coverage to include the full range of planetary boundaries and earth systems, emphasizing the importance of regulations and alignment between company goals and the global environmental policy agenda. CDP plays a crucial role in shaping high-quality mandatory disclosure, building on the outcomes of voluntary environmental disclosure, with mandatory disclosure regimes seen as essential for corporate action across all sectors towards global environmental goals.

  1. Decarbonizing India: Driving Climate Action through Disclosure
  2. Input Paper for G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group