US to invest $10 bn for clean energy, asks India to follow suit

June 17th, 2008 - 9:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, June 17 (IANS) The US plans to invest $9 billion to build state-of-the-art coal plants and another $1 billion for research and development to check carbon emissions from the coal-fired units, said a top US official suggesting this model can be replicated in India. Speaking at an interactive session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) here, James L. Connaughton, chairman of White House Council of Environmental Quality, said: “India and the US are two of the largest users of coal to generate power to keep our homes lit and keep our offices lit and keep the manufacturing infrastructures running. So we have strong interests there.”

“India and America have a lot of people driving in cars and India will have a lot more people driving in cars so we have to find alternatives to petroleum like biofuels and electricity to power our cars,” Connaughton added.

While talking about solutions to the climate change effect, Connaughton said US President George Bush has pledged $2 billion to create a clean technology fund and the UK and Japan have pledged $3 billion together. This money would help generate more money to do large-scale clean coal projects.

India’s energy demand is expected to increase by over 150 percent in the next 20 years.

By 2030, the world’s energy needs would be almost 50 percent greater than last year.

“I am very pleased to say India was a founding partner along with US for the Asia Pacific Partnership on clean development and climate that is working on making real progress on energy security and reducing emissions in the coal sector, in the steel and aluminium sectors and including in buildings,” he added.

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