India’s wheat yield stagnant due to global warming: minister

February 4th, 2009 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) India’s wheat production has stagnated in the last 10-15 years and scientists have told the government this is due to climate change, Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh said here Wednesday.”The scientists have told us that the mean and maximum temperatures in north India have gone up by 1-1.5 degrees Celsius in February, which is the crucial month for deciding how good the wheat yield will be,” Ramesh said.

The minister was speaking at the inauguration of a CEO forum associated with the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

Pointing out that India was already facing huge problems in areas like water supply and agriculture, Ramesh said: “Domestic imperatives should force us to look at the climate change far more seriously than we have.”

At the same time, Ramesh told the group of CEOs from around the world that the bulk of India’s energy generation would continue to come from coal, considered to be among the major sources of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that is leading to climate change as its concentration in the atmosphere is increased by human activity.

The power ministry, he added, was already moving from “sub-critical to super-critical technology which will reduce coal consumption” and described a new technique by which “we will capture carbon dioxide from flue (exhaust) gases (at power stations) and use it to produce micro-algae that in turn will produce oil”.

“We (India) should stop taking a defensive approach towards measures to tackle climate change so that in 3-4 years we can become world leaders in clean technologies,” Ramesh added.

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