A sectoral view of conceptualising macroeconomics of a ‘just transition’ in India





In light of India’s COP26 commitment of reaching net zero by 2070, it is important to understand how India could ensure a ‘just transition.’ Since the transition raises several questions regarding who will benefit from it and who will lose out, this paper offers an assessment of the sectors that will be impacted most by the transition. This includes coal, mining, power, formal manufacturing sectors, and MSMEs. Macroeconomic consequences of the transition in terms of employment intensity, energy intensity, the total value added, and export competitiveness of the above-mentioned sectors have been examined. Using data from the Annual Survey of Industries for 2017-18 and 2018-19 and key informant interviews, the paper presents a sectoral analysis of the transition in the Indian context. In terms of employment, the power and the coal sector will be affected the most. In terms of fuel use, manufacturing sectors that either use coal or purchase electricity (indirectly using coal) will also be impacted. The spatial dimension of the transition will be very important, since certain coal-producing districts will be affected the most.


Just transition, climate change, energy transition, coal transition, manufacturing, employment

Authors Bio

Saon Ray, ICRIER

Saon Ray is an economist specializing in industry and international trade issues, and her research is at the intersection of trade and climate change. Her areas of interest include global value chains, technological upgrading of Indian industries, free trade agreements and trade creation effects, technology transfer, foreign direct investment, efficiency and productivity of firms, financial inclusion, and energy and climate change-related issues. She is a Visiting Professor at ICRIER. Her Ph.D. in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University examined the role of intellectual property rights in transferring technology to developing countries. Her book Global Value Chains and the Missing Links: Cases from Indian Industry was published by Routledge and an edited volume Low Carbon Pathways to Growth in India was published by Springer in 2018. Her work can be accessed at www.saonray.com

Piyali Majumder

Piyali Majumder, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Delhi. She has completed her Ph.D. focused on International Trade and Environment from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has a history of working as a consultant on various projects at the Department of Commerce and Industry, and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Government of India. She was also engaged as an Assistant Professor at St. Xavier's University Kolkata.  

Vasundhara Thakur, ICRIER

Vasundhara Thakur is a Research Associate at the Indian Council of Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). Her work spans the areas of international trade, investment, macroeconomic policy, finance, and climate finance. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Lakshmibai College, University of Delhi. 

Ayush Patel

Ayush Patel holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Delhi. He comes with an experience of 5 years in research and M&E with a holistic practice in the development sector particularly in livelihoods, WASH, and health. He has supported several research studies for relevant organizations including Tata Trusts, Care India, Water aid, etc. His major areas of interests are clean energy, toilet technologies, organic farming etc.


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