Mumbai: July 18, 2009 – There is “no inherent contradiction between poverty eradication and moving towards a low-carbon economy”, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saturday, signalling her government’s approach towards India in the area of combating climate change.
“The United States fully supports India’s efforts to move all its people out of poverty,” Ms. Clinton said at a news conference here.
“But we acknowledge that we’ve made mistakes and we, along with other developed countries, are responsible” for global warming. “We are hoping that a great country like India will not make the same mistakes.”
Ms. Clinton hoped that India would leapfrog the dirty technologies that are leading to climate change “just as it has leapfrogged from having few phones to now having more than 500 million, mostly cellphones.”
The US Secretary of State was speaking just after a meeting with the top leaders of India Inc. She said climate change was a big topic during their discussion.
“We discussed economic opportunities in clean energy” technologies and “how to move towards a low-carbon economy”.
The chief climate negotiator of the US administration is accompanying Ms. Clinton on her India visit.
She said they would have “more intense discussions” on the subject with Indian officials in “both public and private sectors” during her trip that will take her to New Delhi Sunday.
The move towards a low-carbon economy assumes significance because excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — emitted during industrial activities, mainly power generation — is the main greenhouse gas leading to climate change.
Developed and developing countries are ranged against each other in global climate negotiations. Developing countries say developed countries must reduce their emissions first, because that is what has led to climate change.
Developed countries point out that China is the world’s largest emitter now and India the fourth largest, and whatever they do will have little impact on future climate change unless major emerging economies get off the high-carbon use economic path.