Monday, 29 August 2016

Article - Sahil Ali

Collaborations with other Think Tanks - India GHG Platform 

Mohd. Sahil Ali
Research Scientist, CSTEP
CSTEP is always keen to follow a collaborative research agenda. We find partnerships with other institutions in our domains enriching and full of learning. Some of the notable examples of our collaborative work have been the Green Growth Strategy for Karnataka, where CSTEP worked with prestigious academic, consulting and research institutions from India and abroad, and the India Energy Security Scenarios 2047, which is the first time leading Indian energy think tanks joined under the leadership of the then Planning Commission to build an Energy-Emissions calculator.

More recently, we have been involved with the India GHG Platform, which is a civil society initiative to improve the state of knowledge on India’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by providing independent, bottom-up and transparent estimations and analyses. Other members of the Platform include CEEW, ICLEI South Asia, WRI (Reviewers) and Vasudha Foundation (Secretariat). The Platform is supported by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation. In the first phase of the project, which culminated with the formal website launch and workshop on 14 July 2016, the partners have analysed time series of India’s GHG emission inventory between 2007 and 2012 (inclusive).

CSTEP estimated emissions from the Energy (production and use) sector, except thermal energy use in industries. Given the nature of energy data available to the general public, we were in frequent contact with partners to disaggregate and clean the data, and develop robust estimation methodologies in case of missing data. These exchanges expose researchers to fresh methods and perspectives, and help them feed off each other’s expertise and experience. The coordinating role of the Secretariat also becomes important to ensure timelines and standardisation of products.

The exercise attempted in the first phase was complex and ridden with challenges. These were overcome through collective ownership and the willingness to go the extra mile. The Reviewers also played an important part in quality control and timely feedback. Most importantly, the communication teams from all partner institutions joined forces to design and disseminate engagement and publicity material that provided the Platform much visibility.

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