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Issue II

14th Sept 2013

The Flagship Event of ECoBiZ Club



Content 

The Jyrngam Theory Part of the paper presented by Dr Natalie Kharkongor at Oxford

Carbon Emission Trading A fallacy of averages

Swaayam Empowering women for lasting success

Our Mission Promoting, practicing, studying, commenting on & communicating about sustainable business & social practices for the development of the society.

Food waste harms climate, water, land and biodiversity – new FAO report Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has released a report on 11 th Sep’13, for first of a kind study done to analyze the impacts of global food wastage from an environmental perspective, looking specifically at its consequences for the climate, water and land use, and biodiversity. The report stresses on having better policies and stresses on the importance of the need to scale up and replicate success stories. India and UK form Green Energy Forum India and UK have jointly formed a Green Energy Forum to enhance and accelerate activities and research related to clean energy. The idea behind is to introduce long-term and sustainable commercial collaboration in clean energy, especially with reference to power and energy sector and also to work collaboratively to improve energy efficiency, for better engagement between businesses and policy makers and think tanks. Greenpeace’s challenge: To develop a green pump for India With a mission to green India’s agriculture further, Ingo Boltz, Global Innovation Manager of Greenpeace, is spearheading a new innovation to replace diesel pumps with a viable alternative based on renewable energy. Greenpeace is looking to develop a renewable energy pump that is cheap (maximum Rs 1 lakh), portable and which will provide enough irrigation performance. Currently Greenpeace is mobilizing people for the same and have decided on an innovation challenge which will be judged by a team of experts to select the best design. Post the design finalization, they are planning to develop prototypes by involving companies and also farmers so as to build a robust model. 1

newsletter The Jyrngam Theory

14th September 2013 Issue II

By Dr Natalie West Kharkongor World economies have grown and developed in

fixed after assigning a specific measure to the harm

terms of and in relation to their GDP. Many coun-


tries developed during these 20 years but what kind

The fixation of Jyrngam Benefits and Jyrngam Levy

of development have we had? What has really hap-

will vary from place to place, from sector to sector

pened in the past 20 years? The gap between the

and from activity to activity in four identified areas,

‘haves’ and the ‘have – not’s’ has increased. On the

viz., environment, economic, social, and governance.

one side, there is poverty (deficit) and on the other

The mentioned benefits will motivate every stake-

side, there is wastage (excess). The global economy

holder to enrich biodiversity and ecology as a whole;

witnessed a high degree of imbalance in terms of

and the mentioned tax will tend to reduce ecological

extraction and usage of resources. The state of na-

degradation. Hence, Jyrngam Theory talks about

ture and its natural resources like the quality of wa-

making this world a green, balancing and a healthy

ter and air are on a downward spiral and have

place to live in.

reached an alarming point.

Sustainability Reporting is a sine qua non for balanc-

The damage done to the ecology and the wastage of

ing global economy. It is an organizational report

resources all around us forms the base of “The

that gives information about economic, environmen-

Jyrngam Theory”. The theory states that a green

tal, social and governance performance as per GRI.

activity adds value to the ecosystem and hence car-

According to Corporate Sustainability Reporting of

ries remuneration. Similarly, any activity leading to

Altonova energy & sustainability, Sustainability re-

environmental degradation has to be compensated.

porting makes the connection between corporate

The word Jyrngam originates from a Khasi word

financial performance and corporate environmental,

which means green. It also means sustainability,

social and governance (ESG) behavior transparent

hope, life, and future. The theory has in it the two

and traceable. Hence, Sustainability Reporting

main constituents, Jyrngam Benefits and Jyrngam

serves as the most appropriate mechanism to ascer-

Levy. Jyrngam Benefits refers to incentives in cash

tain the amount of value added and the amount of

or in kind provided by the Government or any Insti-

damage caused and thereafter fixing the benefits and

tution to public sector, private sector, households

tax accordingly.

and civil society for a green activity or for any con-

The Government being an important stakeholder in

tribution towards enriching biodiversity or main-

maintaining ecological balance needs to come for-

taining ecological balance. The benefits can be fixed

ward to support and encourage all concerned: the

after assigning a specific value to a green activity, On

public sector, private sector, and civil society to pub-

the other hand, Jyrngam Levy refers to payment in

lish Sustainability Reporting leading to successful

cash or in kind that has to be paid for the damage

implementation of Jyrngam Benefits and Jyrngam

caused to the ecology. Likewise, the payment can be



newsletter Carbon Emission Trading

14th September 2013 Issue II

A Fallacy Of Averages By Sayar Banerji

perature might appear to be fine, but the extremes will actually kill you. By allowing carbon trading to take place, a similar situation arises, with carbon emitters continuing to pollute the environment, and then buying

A few years back, governments and international envi-

carbon credits from other sellers. Since this carbon

ronment bodies had grown concerned over the increas-

emission load gets averaged out through such trading,

ing rate of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the

there is no real incentive for heavy emitters to cut down

planet. The effects of global warming were evident, and

their emission rates immediately. In fact, these heavy

proactive steps aimed at global climate change had be-

emitters can actually continue to increase their carbon

come a necessity. Thus came into effect the Kyoto Pro-

emission and buy carbon credits at the same time, while

tocol, a treaty signed by 191 countries and the Europe-

lesser emitters keep their emissions in check and sell off

an Union, agreeing to limit their emission of green-

their extra credits, thus leading to an overall increase of

house gases to pre-determined standards. However, the

the carbon emission levels. Hence, the real incentive to

Kyoto Protocol also permitted international emissions

cut down emissions comes only when there are no more

trading, which allowed developed countries to trade

extra credits available in the market to buy. Govern-

their commitments under the Protocol with other

ments and industries would also love such a scheme,


since it provides them with a considerable time lag be-

In the previous issue of ECoBiZ newsletter, we have

fore any proactive action is required on their part.

learnt about carbon credits. Since carbon dioxide is one

There are underlying economic implications of carbon

of the major components of GHG emissions, hence

trading as well. The buyer of carbon credits can contin-

carbon emissions trading (or carbon trading in short)

ue with their industrial expansion plans with lesser

constitutes the bulk of international emissions trading.

overall environmental impact to show for, while those

Based on the permitted levels of carbon emission, all

that have already sold their extra carbon credits have to

industries / companies receive carbon credits. These

curb their growth to stay within emission limits, since

credits are then compared to their actual levels of car-

they already bear a portion of the load of carbon emis-

bon emission. If a company emits more carbon than it is

sions caused by another country.

permitted to, it can either reduce its carbon emission

The only feasible alternative to prevent this fallacy of averages would probably be carbon taxing. This is a simpler scheme wherein each industry / company gets taxed at a pre-determined rate for every ton of their carbon emissions. With such taxation, it would be impossible for a company to transfer its carbon emission burden to other parties, thus holding it accountable for its own emission rates and making it absolutely imperative for the company to cut down on its emission levels. Such a scheme, thus, tackles the initial issue of cutting down upon the growing levels of emission, without falling prey to the fallacy of averages.

levels to the specified limits, or it can buy additional credits in the open market, from those that emit lesser than their permitted levels, and hence have extra credits to sell. Carbon trading, however, bears uncanny resemblance to the classic fallacy of averages. The fallacy of averages is the fallacious information that you get when you replace a set of data with their expected values. So, for example, if you are standing with one foot in a block of ice and another foot set on fire, your average body tem-


newsletter Swaayam Empowering Women... ...for lasting success By Ernesto Dhileeban In a country, where physical violence and discrimination against women is evident, a small initiative for transforming lives of women is paying off well in one of the poorest region of the country. In 2009, a first of its kind collaboration between UNDP India and the IKEA foundation is launched in 500 villages of Uttar Pradesh which aims to help women secure and enhance incomes and effectively participate in and contribute to decision-making in domestic and public spheres. Swaayam, derived from a Sanskrit word ’Swayam’ meaning oneself is a women’s empowerment initiative symbolizing the ability, confidence and power of women to transform their own lives, the lives of their children and communities. The partnership takes an integrated approach to women’s empowerment with the recognition that real change implies change in all the spheres of a woman’s world- social, economic, political and legal. As a part of the women’s empowerment project in UP, UNDP is supporting 50,000 women belonging to Self-help groups evolve a new definition of empowerment. Activities centered on functional and financial literacy, leadership and group management, business skill development and training on legal rights and politics have opened all kinds of doors for many women.

14th September 2013 Issue II

Stories of Change: Education: Over 3000 SHGs are boosting literacy and leadership skills among 43,400 women in villages of Jaunpur, Mirzapur and Sant Ravidas nagar districts. Sheila Devi, a 35 year old mother of three says locally formed SHGs have become a lifeline and learning center for women. She says “I now ensure

that my daughter is not only fed well but also goes to school” Politics: In 2005, only 5 women stood for elections from the 500 villages and none of them were elected. In 2010, 764 women contested the election and 278 emerged victorious who will lead their communities and villages into an exciting future over the next five years. Entrepreneurship: UNDP is supporting women to set-up an equity shareholding producer company to expand dairyrelated employment opportunities to 12,000 women who will eventually supply milk to the government milk grid and earn a profit a ₨. 5 per liter of milk Thus this unique partnership pulls together all the threads that have direct impact on the lives of the women and communities- social, economic, political and legal through a process that taps into the strengths of women.

ECoBiZ Club Faculty Co-ordinator : Dr Natalie West Kharkongor Members

: Ernesto Dhileeban Hriday Bikash Das Jeremy Simon Nongrum Prasanthi Bitrakanti Rutwik Phatak

Contacts e-mail

: 8974115744 / 8974055542 :

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Second issue of newsletter released by ECoBiZ Club of IIM Shillong