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PM reaffirms commitment to sustainable development

Wants bolder initiatives from industrialised nations.

– Ramesh Sharma

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, with (from left) the President of the Republic of Kiribati, Mr Anote Tong; the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Mr Jigmi Yoser Thinley; the Premier of Quebec, Mr Jean Charest; the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr Danilo Turk; the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr George Papandreou; the Director-General, TERI, Dr R.K. Pachauri; the Prime Minister of Norway, Mr Jens Stoltenberg, and the Prime Minister of Finland, Mr Matti Vanhanen, at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2010 'Beyond Copenhagen: New pathways to sustainable development' on Friday.

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Feb. 5

India will spare no efforts in contributing to the success of post-Copenhagen process, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, assured world leaders today.

Inaugurating the 10th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS), Mr Singh said India has already committed itself to a path of sustainable development based on a graduated shift to the extent possible from use of fossil fuels to renewable and clean energy, including nuclear energy.

Organised by The Energy Research Institute, the DSDS is being attended by world leaders from countries including Greece, Norway, Finland and Bhutan. The event is focusing on ‘Beyond Copenhagen: New pathways to sustainable development'.

Solar energy plan

Dr Singh said that under the ambit of the National Action Plan on Climate Change, India has already unveiled a solar energy plan targeting an installed base of 20,000 MW by 2022.

“We will soon launch an ambitious National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency that will put in place an innovative policy and regulatory regime to unlock the market for energy efficiency, estimated at over $15 billion,” Dr Singh said.

It is expected that the initiative will lead to an avoidance of capacity addition of nearly 20,000 MW and reduced carbon dioxide emissions of almost 99 million tonnes.

Stating that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has to be the centrepiece of global cooperation on climate issues, Dr Singh said the purpose of Copenhagen Accord is to contribute to the negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol and long-term co-operation.

“There is much in the Copenhagen Accord that can bring consensus on the two-track negotiating process. For this to happen, the process itself has to recommence in right earnest, perhaps from March this year,” Dr Singh said. Suggesting that industrialised countries should respond with bolder initiatives to contain their future emissions, Dr Singh called for greater financial and technical assistance to the developing countries both for adaptation measures to cope with the consequences of emissions and to curb future emissions.

Pat for Pachauri

Complimenting Mr R.K. Pachauri, the Prime Minister said, “TERI, under the able and far-sighted leadership of Mr Pachauri, has earned well-deserved respect and international acclaim for its contributions to the global effort in meeting the twin challenges of energy security and climate change”. Mr Pachauri, who is also the chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has recently come under attack for IPCC's goof-up on predicting melting of Himalayan glaciers.

Stating that India has full confidence in the IPCC process and its leadership and will support it, Dr Singh said adding ‘‘some aspects of the science that is reflected in the work of IPCC have faced criticism.

But this debate does not challenge the core projections of the IPCC about the impact of greenhouse gas accumulations on temperature, rainfall and sea level rise”.

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