India has once again rejected binding targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions but it ensured the global community it would take measures to tackle climate change. Speaking at an international conference on sustainable development in the capital, New Delhi, Premier Singh urged rich countries to facilitate clean technology transfer.
As the Indian economy booms, more people want a modern life-style, which needs lots of energy
As the issue of global climate change becomes increasingly more urgent, India is busy getting its act together. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that India is committed to taking steps in containing carbon emissions.
Earlier this week, he repeated this commitment at the summit on sustainable development in New Delhi, adding “India is prepared to commit that our per-capita carbon emissions will never exceed the average per-capita emissions of developed industrial economies.
But Singh also insisted again that New Delhi would not commit to any emission targets that could slow down the Indian economy, which has grown by 8 to 9 percent annually in recent years.
Annapurna Vancheswaran from the New Delhi-based TATA Energy Resources Institute explained: “The fact that the Indian government cannot afford to cut emissions at the cost of development is true -- India is growing, the aspirations of Indians are growing and everyone would like to have a certain life-style, which needs energy.”
Yvo de Boer, the executive secretary of the United Nations Climate Change conference, supports India's position but also stresses the importance of developing sustainable strategies: “I think that energy costs, air pollution and energy security are the issues troubling countries all over the world. It is in the interest of every country to develop energy in an efficient way.”
To acquire energy efficiently, India needs environment-friendly technology. Speaking at the summit in Delhi, Premier Singh urged developed nations to facilitate clean technology transfer.
He also announced the unveiling of a national plan, which will tackle climate change-related issues, by June. Annapurna Vancheswaran welcomed the announcement: “A national plan is the first step forward, and once this national plan is realised all other stakeholders will join it and the corporate sector especially should become a major player.”
Towards renewable energies
She also emphasised the fact that India should also make more effort to shift the focus from fossil fuels to renewable energies.
Despite the fact that India is one of the world’s worst polluters, it currently only contributes around 4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is far less than industrialised countries such as the US.
But the figure is growing and India is facing mounting pressure to play a more active role in reducing emissions.
Scientists warn that a rise in global temperatures could inundate low-lying islands and coastal regions in developing countries, such as India, placing millions of people at risk of homelessness, as well as of food and water shortages.