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Keynote Address
at the

Global Forum 2007

by
Prof. Aman Agarwal
on 5th November, 2007 at Goteborg, SWEDEN

Keynote Address on
Climate Change, Energy and Sustainable Development


J. D. Agarwal
Professor of Finance
Chairman, Indian Institute of Finance , Delhi, INDIA
Editor-in-Chief, Finance India , Delhi, INDIA

Aman Agarwal
Professor of Finance & Director (Offg.), Indian Institute of Finance, Delhi, INDIA
Honorary Doctorate of Finance (2007), University of Cergy-Pontoise, Paris, FRANCE
Honorary Professor of Uzbekistan, Tashkent State University of Economics, UZBEKISTAN
Associate Editor, Finance India, Delhi, INDIA

Version: 15th October 2007

The authors gratefully acknowledge the technical support of Indian Institute of Finance. We would like to convey our thanks to our colleague at Indian Institute of Finance, Senior Lecturer - Ms. Yamini Agarwal, Mr. Deepak Bansal, Mr. Pushpender Singh Raghav for their assistance in preparation of this paper. The views and reviews presented in the paper are views and opinions of the authors, based on our research and experience and do not depict institutional or countries views or of the institutions the authors are associated with. All errors and omissions are our own.

Abstract

Changing Climate is raising alarms towards the usage of Energy and attainment of Sustainable Development globally. It is difficult to comprehend as to the certainty of how technological possibility will play out in the future to provide a balance for the need for survival vis-à-vis embracing the environmental concerns. Given the attention attained by the need for energy and the impact of climate change due to pollution, one can say with assurance that developments in energy markets will remain central in determining the longer-run health of national economy and societies. The experience of the later half of the last century affirms that market forces play a key role in conserving scarce energy resources and directing those resources to their most highly valued use. This has been fueled with the generation of new ideas and their application for productive uses as an important component in the engine for growth and development. Human talent has paved the way for high economic value creation, behind the generation of ideas, innovations, new technologies and robust systems. The productive capacity of the future can no longer be based on market forces alone. They would have to consider the cost to the society and the future, which would enforce the creation of Green Energy and their productive use for sustainable development. Hence energy and climate change issues present policymakers and citizens with difficult decisions and tradeoffs to be made outside the market process. It is very apt that the Global Forum 2007 focuses on this vital issue which needs to be addressed in a manner that does not distort or stifle the meaningful functioning of our markets and the future of our generations.

JEL Code:
Keywords: Climate Change, Energy, Renewable Resource, Sustainable Development

I. Introduction
Changing Climate is raising alarms towards the usage of Energy and attainment of Sustainable Development globally. It is difficult to comprehend as to the certainty of how technological possibility will play out in the future to provide a balance for the need for survival vis-à-vis embracing the environmental concerns. Given the attention attained by the need for energy and the impact of climate change due to pollution, one can say with assurance that developments in energy markets will remain central in determining the longer-run health of national economy and societies. The experience of the later half of the last century affirms that market forces play a key role in conserving scarce energy resources and directing those resources to their most highly valued use. The productive capacity of the future can no longer be based on market forces alone. They would have to consider the cost to the society and the future, which would enforce the creation of Green Energy and their productive use for sustainable development. Hence energy and climate change issues present policymakers and citizens with difficult decisions and tradeoffs to be made outside the market process. It is very apt that the Global Forum 2007 focuses on this vital issue which needs to be addressed in a manner that does not distort or stifle the meaningful functioning of our markets and the future of our generations. We hope that the debate at this, the SIWIs Swedish Water Award Forum and other similar forums would stimulate the research and development that will unlock new approaches to energy production, its sources and allocation for most productive use.

Effects of a changing climate are widely observable with the temperatures and sea levels on a steep rise with melting of ice and snow covers (Fralkenmark, 2007). The consequences could be catastrophic for the natural world and society. A large number of scientific studies indicate that due to the release of green house gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) and wars, the impact on atmosphere by human activity post 1920 has been the primary cause of the drastic climatic change. One cannot do away with the effect of war situations and bombings done in the last 2 decades contributing to temperature variations, seismic disc movements and ozone depletion. Increase in Air-traffic and Airplanes travel at very high altitudes has also impacted on global warming. IATA predicts another 500 million passengers will take to the skies by 2010, with jet aircraft emitting 23 kg of CO2 per 100 passenger per km, raising the risk to nature and mankind. Not only is the CO2 emission a problem but also the Nitrogen dioxide from airline engines leads to formation of ozone leading to creation of cirrus clouds enhancing green-house effect contributing to global warming. In Europe it-self it is estimated that emissions from air travel increased by 73% between 1990 and 2003 (Philip, 2007). We need to secure a profound change in the way we generate and use energy, and in other activities that release these gases.

The unprecedented combination of climate change and associated disturbances like flooding, droughts, wildfires, insects and other drivers like land use change, pollution and over-exploitation of resources would lead to shift in agriculture productivity and economic growth globally. Even though agriculture is one of the smallest percentage contributors to the GDP pie, it holds the prime place in the Growth chart of nations. Moving to Green Technology for energy needs globally at the earliest possible is the only given solution to this complex problem. It is also important to note that Green Technology (based on renewable sources) is not only cheaper but also more labour intensive (both skilled and un-skilled) in the long run than the non-renewable sources of energies in use. We believe that this would enhance the employment and reduce the tense atmosphere due to Un-Employment & Aging Population as well (especially in the Developed regions of the World).

The Nobel Peace Prize 2007 to IPCC and Al Gore’s initiatives and the SIWI’s Water Awards every year send very powerful messages to the global community on the climate change and appropriate water management for developing an appropriate balance between a healthy ecosystem and sustainable growth.

II. Sweden & the Nordic Region
Sweden, Finland and other parts of the Nordic Region are endowed with large terrains of Green belts (with forests land coverage being over 50% in Sweden and over 85% in Finland). The environment friendly parliamentary view and stagnant population in the region have enabled maintain the rich Green heritage.

It is commendable to see the Swedish commitment towards environment, which is clearly visible from the decision to do away with the fossil fuels from the energy mix by 2020 and being one of the first to introduce a referendum in 1980 to move away from Nuclear Energy. This is despite the fact that Sweden’s electricity consumption has been rising and it has one of the world's highest individual levels of energy consumption of about 18,000 kWh/head. Today, just under 50% of domestic energy production in Sweden is based on nuclear, about 40% on hydro and 8% via fossil fuels. Sweden introduced nuclear energy into it’s energy mix in 1965 to substitute fossil fuels. The moves towards Green Energy in the 1970s and towards Green Renewable Energy now by Sweden are both because of ecological and economics reasons (i.e. due to Oil shocks of the 1970s and those posed 2004 onwards).

III. India Initiative
India is in need for huge energy requirements for sustaining the growth induced with increased trade, commerce and international presence in the country. Currently India’s energy mix is a combination of hydro-power, bio-energy (wind, bio-gas, bio-diesel and others), solar, coal and nuclear energy. As far as economics of operations for energy creation and distribution are concerned, India have proved that it competes equally with the best, be it in the production of nuclear power , heavy water, bio-energy or nuclear fuel.

It is also interesting to note that 31% of India’s primary energy comes from bio-energy that include agricultural and forest waste, wood chips, animal waste and bio-fuels. In India, Bio energy (non-commercial) is second only to coal, which accounts for just over a third of India’s primary energy mix. Estimates show that about 70% of India’s domestic energy need is met by bio energy. It is expected that 25 years from today taking the bio-fuels and renewable sources of energy, the share of non-conventional energy in our energy mix is expected to be 12-15% in the very least. Bio-energy’s potential over the next 25 years, is about 2.5 times the combined potential of hydro, wind and nuclear. It is estimated that 60 million hectares for energy plantations, commercially grown bio-energy could yield 29-35% of India’s primary energy requirements even 25 years from now. Inclusive of non-commercial bio energy, the share could be 39-45% (Sethi, 2007).

Apart from Bio-energy, India also enjoys being a Solar rich receipt. Scientific calculations show that about 7-8 million hectares under solar cells could give India energy independence even 25 years from now. From a forest conservations perspective, 2.25 million hectares under solar cells with 15% conversion efficiency could yield the same energy as 60 million hectares of wood plantations would yield.

To enable make the reach of Solar and Bio-Energy to the larges, the governments would have to promote and develop schemes to involve industries and government projects. One of the clear ways is to grant the request of the Industry for approving the R&D outlays as deduction from taxes due and that this fiscal incentive be made tradable. Also all the bio-fuels or bio-chemicals should be subjected to a very low tax or be exempt from taxes that are imposed on fossil fuels or fossil based chemicals to involve the SMEs and large industries to move towards Clean Renewable Energy sources.

Amongst the Renewable Sources of Energy, Hydro-Electric power is the cheapest in the long run. It offers a large number of advantages. For instance
i. Being most economic source of power.
ii. Being a Non-pollute and renewable source of energy unlike thermal/nuclear which is based on non-renewable sources of energy. Oil, Coal, Gas Resource, Nuclear fuel which can be used for producing electricity are getting scarcer day by day and involve high cost and put strain on foreign exchange. By placing greater reliance on hydro power these constraints can be overcome.
iii. It also helps in management and regulation of water resources. Shortage of water would create serious problems for mankind if not attended to immediately.
iv. Enhances productivity of farmers and agriculture needs through irrigation facilities.
v. Prevents floods and drought situations. It would also help contain the problem due to melting glaciers.
vi. Secures drinking water and food supplies
vii. Very low maintenance and operational cost
viii. Creates Employment

One of the charges leveled against hydropower is that it has long gestation period compared to thermal projects and, in turn, increases the cost of the project. Environmentalists have also raised hue and cry in the past against hydel projects. Power economy committee in India after examining this point concluded that if hydro project is thoroughly examined and designed before implementation, the actual period of construction is nearly the same as that of a thermal / nuclear projects. This is why Power Commission of India in 1962 and Energy Survey of India Committee in 1965 suggested greater reliance on hydro projects. After getting off to an impressive start in the First and the second plans hydro-electric projects started witnessing slackened growth. The trend was unhealthy and there was a need to reverse this. Power Economy Committee of India (1971) stated, "Under the existing conditions in the country, the hydel schemes constitute the most economic source of electric production to control and reduce the cost at energy generation and supply in the country, to enable full utilization of generating facilities already built up and to ensure that the limited capital allocations to the power supply industry go the farthest in meeting the country's estimated deficit, the bulk of new generating capacity to be added during the 5th and 6th plans should be derived from hydro sources". Despite such clear advantages only one-fifth of hydro power has been harnessed in the country so far. We need to build up a shelf of well-investigated projects. The operational cost is low, maintenance requirements minimal and hydel power is an excellent arrangement for peaking support. That is why a continuing program of hydel investigation and execution of project is imperative.

Energy and Environment have been core areas of concern from the governmental and societal perspective in India. The religion that houses over 70% of the population (1.1 billion) i.e. Hinduism, is a way of life which has millions of Gods majority of which are environmental idols. Every one in the society from the very young childhood is told to be nature conscious and friends. Results of this can be seen with the movements towards bio-energy, Delhi being the greenest capital city even when it houses over 18 million inhabitants with a flow of 2-3 million every day, and the Hon’ble Prime Minister being the head for the Energy Coordination Committee.

IV. Global Trends and Initiatives
The recent International Energy Agency (IEA)’s 2006 report projects that emissions of CO2 (a main GHG) would be more than double by 2050. According to the IEA report, the developing countries would account for almost 70% of this increase. It is important to understand that most of the developing countries are gearing at benefit of technology transfers from large western organizations having growth within these countries. The shifting up of base of most European or American firms is not only based on a lookout for cheap raw-material and labour, but is more of a conglomerate factor of regulatory restrictions in home countries, environmental restrictions and market access, which most major industries and energy organizations are subjected to. This is specifically there due to stagnation of population growth and aging population in these regions of the world.

The social equity globally would be worsened by the GHG emissions since poorer countries and the poorer segments of the population within countries are more vulnerable to technological shifts and higher technology layoff costs (Agarwal, Agarwal & Agarwal, 2004; Falkenmark, 2007). Moreover, the costs of damage as well as the required adaptation and mitigation efforts will be unevenly distributed both among and within countries. There is also the risk towards further erosion of social capital and increase in the vulnerability of social values and institutions, already weakened by technological changes. Inequity in due course could undermine social cohesion and exacerbate conflicts over scarce resources. Advances in underground storage of CO2, battery technology (for plug-in hybrid cars), bio-energy, traditional renewable sources of energy and nuclear power is expected to alter energy economics (Brown, 2006). What IEA needs to work on is how to utilize and bring into functionality the best available green technologies like the use of more solar, wind and biomass through more-efficient cares, appliances and buildings and not basing primarily on Nuclear for energy needs.

Nuclear energy thought clean from the CO2 perspective, but is based on non-renewable source. Also this subjects the globe to higher degree of ecological risk due to non-degradable nuclear waste and possibilities of mishaps. The recent cases of Nuclear disasters post 1950s in Kashiwazaki Japan (2007); Mihama Japan (2004); Tokaimura Japan (1999); Goiânia Brazil (1987); Chernobyl USSR (1986); Three Mile Island, nr. Harrisburg, US (1979); Greifswald East Germany (1976); Windscale Pile No. 1, north of Liverpool, UK (1957); South Ural Mountains USSR (1957); Chalk River Ottawa, Canada (1952) bring forth the black side of Nuclear Energy as a so-called clean sources of energy.

It is comforting to see the political and corporate will being generated globally towards a Renewable Clean Energy and reduction in emission levels. In US Arnold Schwarzenegger suggesting to cut emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 (Washington Post-ET, 2007), globally steps towards the Kyoto Protocol (developing CDMs and trading Carbon Credits ) and in Sweden Volvo Trucks signing a contract with Vattenfall for supply of Renewable source (non-Nuclear) based energy from 2008 (WNN, 2007) are stepping stones in this direction. There are large number of organizations globally who share similar feeling and objectives towards a Clean Green future. It is the cost of transition and the operational difficulties that have deterred most organizations for a long time.

V. Financial Economics of Energy
Considering the fund crunch being faced by State Electricity Boards globally, private promoters should turn to domestic and foreign financial institutions. Joint ventures should be formed with 100 percent equity holdings shared by both the domestic and foreign promoters. In case of foreign loan it would be required that supplier's credit is guaranteed by Export Credit Agencies from the country of export. These export Credit Agencies would, in turn, have to seek guarantee from Financial Institutions and domestic banks since foreign banks and credit institutions continue to be unwilling to take the credit risk in view of the weak financial condition of State Electricity Boards. The promoters must take into consideration that the loan provided by the ECAs will be supported by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs). The fee for this service generally varies between 1.5 percent to 3 percent of principal and future interest. This fee rate is generally arrived at on the basis of discussions between such institutions. Apart from interest costs and guarantee fees, other costs of financing are the lenders upfront fee, a fee for amount committed but remained unused, third party assessment and closing fees. In most cases upfront and unused fees are calculated on the committed amount and not on the total drawn amount. Third party costs include legal and consultancy fees.

In case of private participation in this sector it is important that proper infrastructure is in place. Creation of infrastructure has become very important because money invested by private player attract high interest. The approach of private promoter in financing such projects should be somewhat different. They should note that the development of green energy power projects based on renewable sources should not be done out of the sole intention of making money, while making money cannot be altogether ruled out. Inordinate delays in the execution of such projects caused by promoter’s inability to secure the investment money will not help the promoters and they may have to face the wrath of those who support the project. The promoters need to make sure the project is environmentally sound, safe and without controversies. They must ensure that there is little submergence of land, little or no relocation of the residents and so forth. Though these issues are not directly related to finance, if ignored they will drastically tell upon the finances of promoters.

Some of the basic financing sources for Green Power Projects are
A. Domestic Financial Markets:
i. Equity finance
ii. Debt Finance
iii. Domestic Capital Market
iv. Financial Developmental Institutions

B. International Financial Markets
Due to limited domestic finance available for power projects, the need to tap international markets becomes inevitable which is characterized by long tenure of maturities and availability of various modes of finances.
i. Multilateral Institutions
ii. Export Credit Agencies (ECA)
iii. External Commercial Borrowing (ECB)
iv. Syndicated Loans
v. Private placement
vi. Global Depository Receipts (GDRs)
vii. Weather Derivatives & Hybrid Instruments (Agarwal, 2002)

C. Financing through Internal Resources:
One of the most important source of finance is Internal Resource generated through the projects own operations. There are two aspects of this issue. One the funds already invested but not yielding results need to be put to use. Second, the projects should be made to be cost effective so that projects are able to generate enough resources from within the project. We need to use the funds stuck up in various projects. For instance taking one of the cases of India, where INR 80,000 crores is stuck up in various hydel projects which have been invested in the past. This massive amount has become non-performing asset and the nation is loosing because these projects for one reason or another are not being allowed to be completed.

VI. World Energy Fund
The concerns and debates in the last five years on Energy and Climate change need to be addressed. It is vital that international agencies like the UN, IEA and World Bank take steps to give directions to nations and international society for developing means for appropriate actions to curb environment pollution providing for sustainable sources for development and growth globally.

Based on the concept of the UNs World Solidarity Fund, so created in December 2002 on the suggestion of Tunisian President Ben Ali (in December 2000 at UN Forum), we would like to propose the creation of a World Energy Fund to meet the needs and smooth transmission for change over to Clean Energy by industries globally.

The World Energy Fund may function by engaging in
- focus through
o Purchase of Technology Patents for Clean/Green Energy to enable cheaper industrial usage by the industries globally (especially in developing regions of the World)
o Promote Bio-Energy Sources (Bio-Diesel / Bio-Gas) and Solar Energy for Household energy consumption needs.
o Governments to move forward than just Kyoto Protocol to sponsor or further projects which are based on Green Energy Sources for their Future Power needs.
o Green Fuels to be Tax Free for a period of 5-10 years.
o develop capital market financing energy products to finance Green Technology.
- finance the Fund through
o Seeking donations (organization, international agencies & governments)
o Introduce Pollution Tax (country/sector basis)
o Fee from Use of Patents (purchased)
o Environment Tourism (In Sweden over 3 million Sweds have visited Swedish Nuclear Plants (HT-Reuters, 2007))

VII. Conclusion
Energy is a vital input needed to fuel the engine of economic growth and to fulfill the basic needs of national societies. Empirical evidence suggests that lack of energy can whittle down the pace of economic development while its abundance can stimulate the development. Data show that on an average a developed nation civilian consumes approximately 40 percent more energy than some one from the developing region. Stark gap in consumption levels like these may safely be attributed to the government’s failure to maintain an appropriate ratio of Renewable (Hydel, Solar, bio-mass) and Non-Renewable (Thermal & Nuclear) power and not properly harnessing hydro/green power which is possible only through the construction of large river valley / green projects.

Energy is one of the critical inputs for agricultural, industrial production, IT & telecommunications and raising the quality of life of people. Government’s statements worldwide confirm that it is well aware that the “marginal productivity” of energy is far greater than the cost of energy. This means that clean energy development ought to be the top most economic priority of the State. It also means that there is an opportunity for deficit financing of energy/power projects, so that the required additions to capacity (due to change from non-renewable to renewable source) to match demand need not suffer for want of resources. Only a dogmatic monetarist position would insist on identifying the finances for power development with required savings or creative energy financing for the economy as a whole.

It is interesting to see that River valley projects not only produce electricity but also conserve water and ensure cleanliness of the air in the process. In developing countries like India it is very important that water resources be utilized efficiently and effectively. For such an effective utilization of water resources construction of river valley projects is of paramount importance. And river valley can be reality only when there is adequate finance. In a river valley project the prospects from hydropower generation seems most lucrative. That is why investment decisions are largely guided by hydroelectricity. The introduction of new power policy in India and other parts of the world and the vertical split up of the business of generation, transmission and distribution signify that the governments would provide for fresh impetus to river valley projects. In the bygone era everything from conception to operation of the project was guided by Government. In the new regime the governments globally should be ready to rearrange everything so that necessary finance could be put in place for the construction and running of river valley/green renewable energy projects.

The global world and economies are faced with challenges to counter climate change, energy and sustainable development. Though it is the responsibility of every citizen of the global world to fight against such environmental socially-ill, however the duty primarily rests on the shoulders of governance bodies and international agencies to play a pro-active role in clearing the menace and providing directions to industry. With the changing structure of world investment, trade, capital flow and the need for deeper integration, strengthening regulatory framework and signaling system is greater. Globalization has altered the economic frameworks of both developed and developing nations in ways that are difficult to comprehend. Also the emergence of unregulated global markets appears to have moved towards a more stable and growth oriented economic globe. What is needed today is to develop sensitivity sensor systems to promote green technology within the financial framework as an integrated approach to keep markets from busting and causing socio-economic environmental panics. Faced with these uncertainties, it is especially important that policymakers undertake the required policy adjustments for a sustained global expansion. As well, supervisory and regulatory authorities need to continue to strengthen energy financial market infrastructure to underpin the resilience of the ecosystem towards sustained development and clean tomorrow.

Jai Hind.

References

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