The US cited what safeguards it expected India to undertake under a new UN climate change regime — different from the Kyoto Protocol — before the Copenhagen meet this December.
In response to the observation that 600 million Indians had to make do without commercial energy, Dr Jonathan Pershing, US President Barack Obama’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, said India could in future change “the process of electrification of the country”. It could move away from its old power plants, which would not be effective in producing energy and would damage the environment.
He had been impressed by steps being taken by major developing countries. India had several choices: it was contemplating building solar cities, going in for renewables and introducing efficiency in transport.
“This is how you marry development with the climate agenda,” Dr Pershing said. “There will be development agreements at Copenhagen, of which sustainable growth will be at the core. You can’t have sustainable development if the climate is going to collapse.”