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S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):

India’s journey to net-zero emissions will get a shot in the arm from nearly $150 billion of planned investments in green energy announced by its two richest tycoons, who both owe their fortunes to carbon.

Reliance Industries Ltd., the flagship of Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, announced plans to invest nearly 5.6 trillion Indian rupees, or $75 billion, in green energy projects in the western Gujarat state. The conglomerate signed a preliminary deal with the state government of Gujarat to invest 5 trillion rupees to build 100 GW of renewable energy and green hydrogen plants over the next 15 years. It will also invest 600 billion rupees in solar and energy-storage battery projects, according to a Jan. 13 statement.

Gautam Adani, the chairman of Adani Group and the second-richest Indian on the Forbes list, said at an industry event in November 2021 his company plans to invest $70 billion over the next decade to become the world’s biggest renewable energy producer. The coal mining to ports conglomerate includes six listed companies, such as the flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd. and Adani Green Energy Ltd.

“These new growth plans will help kickstart developments while giving confidence to international investors that India’s bellwether companies are leading the green movement,” said Damandeep Singh, associate partner at consulting firm EY.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, at Glasgow in November 2021 by announcing that the second-most populous nation on the planet will aim for net-zero, or the removal of all human greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere through reduction measures, by 2070. Earlier in the year, the world’s biggest polluter, China, announced its net-zero goal by 2060. Emission commitments by China and India are critical for the success of global climate goals as both nations, late to industrialize, need to balance between poverty elimination and going green.

[Rebecca Isjwara, Gaurav Raghuvanshi and Rehan Ahmad]

More: Green energy ambitions of India’s richest tycoons to spur nation toward net-zero

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