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India Seeks US Support to Meet Climate Change Challenge

Mar 25, 2009 - BBC Monitoring South Asia

With the Obama Administration focussing on clean and renewable energy, India has sought partnership with the US in the field to meet the growing challenge of climate change.

Such a partnership between the two countries, after the civilian nuclear deal, is essential to jointly meet the challenges of climate change, Shyam Saran, the Indian Prime Minister's Special Envoy on Climate Change, told a meeting of US corporate leaders organised by the US India Business Council (USIBC).

USIBC had played a significant role in the passage of the Indo- US civilian nuclear deal, despite tough hurdles.

Welcoming President Obama's Renewable Energy Initiative, Saran said: "The first component of our strategy for the future, for both Indian and US business is a renewable energy partnership covering different technological pathways and focussing on technology and product development."

Asserting that the world is on the cusp of an energy revolution, Saran said it is becoming apparent that current trends of growth of the global economy, in particular the growth of India and China, cannot be sustained by the accelerated depletion of fossil fuels.

"If energy is not to become a constraint on our growth -- the growth of India and the US and the global economy as a whole, then a relatively rapid and significant shift to renewable and non- conventional energy sources becomes inevitable. Both climate change action and energy security dictate this," he said.

Acknowledging the corporate leaders' significant contribution, Saran said, "You can be justifiably proud of what your contribution has helped accomplish -- a dramatic transformation in Indo-US relations and the opening up of a wide-ranging spectrum of opportunities for economic partnership."

"The challenge before us now lies in translating these opportunities into practical collaborative partnerships on a scale and of a quality that befits the strategic partnership between our two countries," he observed.

Observing that the two countries need to look beyond the immediate compulsion of stimulating the respective economies and evolving a more effective national and global financial infrastructure, Saran said the business and industry leaders of the two nations can together begin to look at the newly emerging realities and position the two democracies to be leaders in the new wave of creative entrepreneurship and technological innovation that will be required to face new and unfamiliar challenges.

Arguing that recycling must become an integral part of the business model of the future, Saran said: "There should be an India- US partnership on Recycling as part of our objective of achieving resource security."

There is need to put in place technologies and facilities that enable the efficient and cost effective recycling of an ever larger proportion of our depleting supplies of minerals.

Indian and US business need to position themselves to meet the demands of a new age and a new humanity that values sustainability over excess. It means focussing consciously on technological innovation and product development that conforms to the emerging value system, Saran observed.

It means developing and producing goods that meet new standards of durability and reliability. It also means more products that are reusable, not disposable and if reuse is not possible, then are recyclable.

"We must together set the standards for a new Age of Sustainability, propagate concepts such as zero discharge from chemical plants, water-positive processes in all water-consuming industries, energy positive processes wherever possible through re- use of heat from production and the generation of power from waste," Saran said.

"We should explore how we could use flue gas from coal-based power plants to produce methane which may be used as transportation fuel. The ideal should be to create a world in which production and consumption processes are closed cycles with zero waste," he argued.

Originally published by PTI news agency, New Delhi, in English 0357 25 Mar 09.

(c) 2009 BBC Monitoring South Asia. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.


Updated: 2003/07/28