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PM calls for debate on energy policies

According to the PM, long-term costs of short-term benefits and issues around future energy security need to be examined, reports Chetan Chauhan.
By Chetan Chauhan | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2008 12:15 AM IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday sought a national debate on energy pricing policies to examine whether over use of resources through misdirected subsidies was leading to environmental degradation. He also said long-term costs of short-term benefits and issues around future energy security need to be examined.

The prime minister's statement comes in wake of the government once again deferring an increase of fuel prices amid environmentalists insisting that low fuel prices were promoting the greater use of personal transport causing more air pollution. Huge government subsidies are required to keep prices of fuel and energy low.

Singh, who was speaking at the inaugural function of Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, also called for a “fair, equitable and transparent” global regime for technology transfer in the interest of people living in developing countries. “We in the developing world desperately need access to environment- friendly technologies, especially in energy, transportation, manufacturing and agriculture,” he said.

The prime minister also announced a roadmap for climate change mitigation and adoption. He announced the setting up of a venture capital fund to promote green technologies with help from the private sector.

He also said that the National Plan of Action on Climate Change would be ready by June this year. “Even as we engage internationally in creating a global strategy to address climate change, we would in parallel work on local, sub-national and national action to meet the challenges of climate change,” he said. Singh identified climate change as a global problem that needs a joint effort.

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