This Letter was originally published in The Financial Times on 24/07/2023. View the original piece here.
Martin Wolf’s analysis (“Western leaders are making a sensible bet on India”, Opinion, July 19) is pertinent given the Clean Energy Ministerial forum in Goa last week.
However, the plus-one approach he advocates is insufficient in navigating the broader geopolitics and messier socio-politics associated with energy transitions. The western-centric narrative of a plus-one addition of technology overlooks uncomfortable questions about the vital roles of social transformation and institutional innovation in making change happen.
Instead, the power of three is a better rule of thumb in navigating that complexity, and reflects the requisite variety involved in redesigning the world energy system for people, planet and progress.
To productively engage with great powers like India, the race to zero needs to facilitate not only faster, but fairer and more far-reaching energy transitions, which acknowledge the complexity of balancing numerous demands simultaneously. This involves not just providing a seat at the table but understanding and accepting that their specific energy demands and solutions may be different.
Angela Wilkinson Secretary-General and CEO, World Energy Council, London EC3V, UK