India should reduce dependence on fossil fuels: Shyam Saran

March 16th, 2009 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) If India has to continuously grow at eight to nine percent, then it should reduce dependence on fossil fuels, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Climate Change Shyam Saran said here Monday. At the same time, the onus to adopt green technologies should not completely lie on the developing world, he pointed out.
“Science suggests the current climate change is due to accumulated emissions of over 200 years of industrialisation. The world, therefore, should work together to achieve sustainability,” Saran said while speaking at a seminar on Business Response to Climate Change organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development.

Saran referred to the fear that industrialised countries would use intellectual property rights and trade competitiveness in the race to develop and use greener technologies. He said these would be “major obstacles for environmentally friendly technology adoption”.

Positioning India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change as a new strategy for sustainable development, Saran said: “If India has to continuously grow at eight to nine percent, then it should reduce dependence on fossil fuels. According to India’s Integrated Energy Policy, by 2030 India will be importing more than 90 percent of oil and about two-thirds to three-fourths of coal, and the energy cost will increase.”

In this regard he reflected upon the National Solar Energy Mission, which is a project by the government to reduce India’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources.

Saran also informed about the National Energy Efficiency Mission, which builds on India’s decoupling of its economic growth and energy intensity. He said: “The clearance of civil nuclear energy agreement (with the US) will help India to have better energy security. The current economic downturn has turned to India’s advantage as the cost of equipment and fuel have come down considerably.”

He also said the Green India Mission aims to increase India’s forest cover from the current 22 percent to 33 percent and called upon industrialists to participate in this and in the national water mission.

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