India’s participation critical in move to green energy: Obama

February 20th, 2009 - 12:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Ottawa, Feb 20 (IANS) The participation of countries like China and India in the move towards green energy is “absolutely critical”, US President Barack Obama said here.
Obama was in this Canadian capital on his first visit abroad as US president. With Canada’s oil sands and American coal deposits being the major causes of greenhouse emissions in North America, he and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Thursday agreed to work together to usher in green technologies to cut carbon emissions.

They also proposed “smart” grids for transmission of electricity cleanly across their borders.

“I think the clean energy dialogue is an extraordinary beginning because right now there are no silver bullets to solve all of our energy problems,” said Obama.

“The more that within this hemisphere we can show leadership the more likely it is that we can draw in countries like China and India whose participation is absolutely critical for us to be able to solve this problem over the long term,” the president said.

Use of coal and oil to produce energy leads to emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, is leading to climate change that is already reducing farm outputs, making droughts, floods and storms more frequent and more severe and raising the sea level, with developing countries bearing the brunt of the impacts.

Industrialised countries are responsible for almost all the extra greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere today, and per capita emissions in the US are about 20 times that of India and five times that of China. But, overall, China has now become the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The US is in second place and India in fourth.

Obama has made the move from coal and oil to green renewable energy sources an integral part of his plan to rescue the US economy from the current global economic meltdown.

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