Case Study: India
India, the world’s second most populous country and fourth biggest economy, is a study in contrasts. After almost two decades of 7%growth, the country has become a global leader in IT and business outsourcing, which occupies a third of the workforce but produces two thirds of its output, while agriculture employs more than half the workforce yet generates less than a fifth of national income. Almost 30% of the population live below the poverty line, while a growing urban middle class enjoys increasing affluence and developed economy lifestyles. Town and country are connected, or separated, by a highly inefficient supply chain that results in as much as 40% of produce being lost before ever reaching the consumer, which raises retail prices while suppressing rural incomes. Rural destitution is one major cause of migration from the countryside to the cities. At the same time, investment in cold chain infrastructure is now booming to cater to the tastes of the urban middle class, but because it relies on conventional fossil fuel based energy infrastructure it is likely to worsen the already severe smogs in India’s cities, with consequences for human health. The key challenge is to incentivise redirection of this investment to cleantech based sustainable cold chain infrastructure and encourage joined up thinking for a broader cold economy.