New Delhi: India, as an advanced developing nation, can help lead the world in renewable energy technologies to solve “the climate change crisis,” former US vice president and Nobel Peace winner Al Gore said.
“India has proven its capability in sectors like information technology and can be a leader in the world in developing new renewable technologies to combat climate change,” Gore told reporters here in New Delhi on the weekend.
Gore was speaking at the launch on Saturday of the India wing of “The Climate Project”, a US-based non-profit group that supports the former vice president’s efforts to tackle climate change globally.
Asked about differences between developed and developing countries on greenhouse gas emission cuts, Gore said fast-developing nations such as India had a right to aspire to higher living standards.
But using 21st century-efficient technologies was the way to achieve them, said the environmental activist who won an Oscar for his documentary on global warming, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
The best response to climate change is not by highlighting comparisons between pollution levels “achieved by other countries a long time ago using dirty technologies,” Gore said.
Rather the focus should be on “what can be achieved in the 21st century with efficient technologies,” said Gore, who was on a two-day visit to India.
“India is highly vulnerable to the climate change crisis,” he said. He added by saying that there was need for a change in US climate policy: “My country is the largest source of pollution and most responsible for creating the problem,” he said.
Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Gore, said “unprecedented understanding and knowledge across the globe” was needed to tackle the “daunting challenge” of climate change.
The world’s biggest emitter for decades has been the United States, accounting for more than 20% of the world’s production of carbon dioxide emissions.
But emissions have also rapidly grown in the developing world -- China is now in second place at 16% and India is among the top five emitters at 6%.
Developing countries say they cannot yet make commitments to cut their emissions because it will hamper their economic growth.
Last month, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged rich countries to ensure technology transfers to developing nations to combat climate change under a transparent global regime.
India late last year slammed a UN call for developing countries to cut carbon emissions by 20% over three decades starting in 2020, saying it did not “address the key issues of equality and equity.”