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New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Science & Technology Jitendra Singh on Saturday called for promoting startups in the construction of ‘carbon neutral’ or green buildings.

In his address at the Solar Decathlon India Awards Ceremony, an Indo-US joint initiative for clean energy, Singh urged real estate developers, builders, industry, and academia to find innovative, affordable solutions that adapt to India’s climatic zones and unique needs, address extreme weather events, and reduce risk to lives and property.

Recognizing that startups in net-zero carbon emissions have started emerging fast in the Indian landscape, Singh promised all financial support from the department of science and technology and at the same time urged businesses to come forward with open arms to adopt such ventures.

He said that apart from clean and green buildings, emphasis on clean transportation, solar water pumps and solar-powered refrigeration, clean grid power, and electric vehicles are some of the important areas for India’s cleantech ecosystem.

The minister noted that India has laid out an ambitious plan to address climate change, one of the biggest challenges facing the global community. At the COP26 meeting held in Glasgow in November 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, presented India’s five-point climate action agenda.

They include 500 GW by 2030, 50% of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030, reduction of total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonne from now to 2030, reduction of the carbon intensity of the economy by 45% by 2030 over 2005 levels and achieving the target of net zero carbon emissions by 2070.

Singh said, globally, the construction and operation of buildings account for 38% of the total energy-related CO2 emissions that cause global warming. He said, India is experiencing a building boom, and almost 70% of the floor area that India will have in 2050 is going to be new construction in the next 28 years.

This presents a huge opportunity to make 70% of our buildings net-zero by leveraging new technologies and encouraging the use of local, sustainable building materials, the minister added.

He said developing net-zero energy and net-zero water buildings are not easy and there is a need to bring together real estate developers, builders, industry, and academia to find innovative, affordable solutions that adapt to India’s climatic zones and unique needs and address resiliency.

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