WRI established its India office in 2011. We work with leaders in business, government, and civil society to expand clean energy development, combat climate change, and develop sustainable transport solutions. Learn more about our work in India. Visit the WRI India website.
Raahgiri Day, a car-free event initiated by WRI and partners, has expanded to more than 36 locations in 30 cities in India. Together, some 10 million people have taken part. By promoting safer roads, more physical activity, less air pollution and stronger communities, Raahgiri Day is changing lifestyles and shifting perceptions of urban life.
One-tenth of all road traffic fatalities occur in India, the most of any country in the world. The majority of victims are pedestrians and cyclists, who have not traditionally been a priority for urban planners. With India’s cities expected to grow by over 200 million residents by 2030, action is needed to make streets safer for non-motorists.
With four local partners, WRI helped launch the first Raahgiri Day in November 2013 in Gurgaon, near New Delhi. Since then, the city closes major streets to motorized vehicles for several hours on Sundays, opening them for recreational activities including cycling, dancing, walking and yoga. WRI played a key role in developing and organizing the Raahgiri Day concept and joined with media to promote it. After this initial success, WRI worked with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Times of India and Hindustan Times to replicate the event in other Indian cities.
The original Raahgiri Day in Gurgaon has continued to expand and has attracted over a million participants since its inception. WRI and its partners have helped take Raahgiri Day to an additional 11 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bhopal and Ahmedabad. Eighteen more cities have launched events inspired by Raahgiri Day, often customized with local names. Altogether, some 10 million people have taken part in the car-free events.
By promoting safer roads and increased physical activity, these events have helped to shift the perception of urban mobility, introducing the idea of streets as public spaces. Raahgiri Day is sparking a movement for change, and decision-makers are taking notice. Gurgaon, for example, has built 8 kilometers (5 miles) of cycle track and is planning a larger network. Delhi has started the process of redesigning 1,260 kilometers (783 miles) of main city roads with pedestrians and cyclists in mind. Bhopal is initiating India’s first bike-sharing program. With increasing interest from citizens and governments, Raahgiri Day is poised to help bring sustainable mobility to cities across India, demonstrating that streets are not just for cars, but for pedestrians and cyclists, too.
"Today, as negotiators haggle over the details of a climate agreement in Paris, my home town in southern India is literally underwater," says Arivudai Nambi Appadurai, WRI India's Adaptation Strategy Head for Climate Resilience Practice. "Chennai has seen 17 days straight of rain, precisely the kind of extreme weather event that experts say will only become more common in a warming world."
PARIS (November 30, 2015)- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders announced the International Solar Alliance today in Paris. The newly formed solar alliance of more than 120 countries will play an important role in advancing solar deployment around the world.
Following is a statement from Manish Bapna, Managing Director, World Resources Institute:
This WRI analysis finds that renewable energy supplies are set to double collectively in eight major economies by 2030 spurred on by new national climate and energy plans. These renewable energy levels will be 18 percent higher in 2030 than previously projected growth rates.
The great twin challenges of the 21st century — development and climate change — are nowhere sharper than in India, and within India they are perhaps nowhere more vivid than Mumbai. So it’s appropriate that WRI India has its largest office in the rapidly transforming former industrial core of India’s largest, richest city.
As the world’s third-largest emitter and a country that’s highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, it is encouraging to witness India invest in actions to tackle climate change while addressing poverty, food security and access to healthcare and education.
Today India formally submitted its national climate plan (INDC) to the UNFCCC. The plan includes a commitment to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, achieve about 40 percent cumulative electric power from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030, and create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
India has set ambitious renewable energy targets for this year of 175 gigawatts by 2022, an increase of 400 percent over 2014. But even as India looks to add new wind and solar plants, it is working to absorb the renewable power it already generates.