‘Lives and livelihoods of millions at stake’
The worst impact will be on monsoons, which would become more difficult to predict, and frequency of extreme monsoon events will increase, said Sunita Narain in an interview with Chetan Chauhan.india Updated: Nov 30, 2009 00:08 IST
How would climate change impact India and what are your concerns?
The worst impact will be on monsoons, which would become more difficult to predict, and frequency of extreme monsoon events will increase. Given that it is related to lives and livelihoods of millions, any change in monsoon will have a major impact on agriculture.
What should India do domestically for climate change mitigation?
We should not commit mistakes of the western world —first pollute and then clean — while building cities. We should build cities around public transport and not cars.
Most of our building activities will start now with the economy growing. We should not look for glass buildings, which are not efficient. Look for local energy-efficient measures.
We have to provide affordable energy options considering India has the highest energy prices in the world. Solar (energy) is an option but its per unit cost if very high. Improving energy efficiency is a way to reduce generation cost, meaning affordable and clean electricity to people.
How can India take a global leadership role on climate change?
India is a leader of the developing world. It should campaign for the voice of the marginalised and victims of climate change like us (Indians). We should seek equitable agreement and effective agreement at Copenhagen. India should avoid taking the high table with polluters (rich countries). We are victims of climate change and are willing to change. Therefore, we have to put pressure on the north (Europe and US) to take effective emission cuts and implement them seriously. That will be a real leadership role.