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India and US focus on climate change

mumbai Updated: Sep 03, 2016 00:33 IST
Ankita Sengupta
Ankita Sengupta
Hindustan Times
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Jonathan Pershing speaks at Xavier Institute of Communication in Mumbai on Friday. (Arijit Sen/HT)

Following the third US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in New Delhi on Wednesday, US special envoy for climate change Jonathan Pershing said that apart from working on measures to combat climate change, both countries are also focusing on the need to be resilient to the effects of climate change.

Pershing, who has co-chaired the US-India joint working group on combating climate change, said that “resilience” is an important component of climate change, but unfortunately, does not receive the kind of attention it deserves.

“With climate change, we are bound to see extreme weather events. Places that receive heavy rainfall will get even heavier rain, while drought-prone areas will witness more acute dry spells,” he said.

Referring to his experience in Delhi last week which has been receiving extremely heavy rainfall, he said, “For countries that are already experiencing the adverse effects of climate change, the ability to withstand or recover quickly will be crucial.”

Elaborating on the details of the dialogue between both the countries, the US diplomat said that monitoring air quality, gathering data on the existing forests and providing for exchange of technological information related to climate change through fellowships were the key points that US and India are working on.

Speaking to HT, Pershing said, “There is a lot of research on forest health. The forest cover in India is declining. These issues can be resolved with better forest management, which is one of the things we are working on.”

Trees are considered as carbon sinks that absorb carbon dioxide, which is one of the components that causes global warming.

“To bring down the emission rate, we are promoting the use of alternative sources of energy such as nuclear and solar to reduce the use of fossil fuels,” Pershing said.

The US special envoy was in the city on Friday to meet with members of the financial sector on measures to encourage and boost investment in clean energy.