New York Times: Rajendra K. Pachauri is the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and head of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi, a non-profit focusing on research in the field of energy efficiency and sustainable development.
In 2007, under his leadership, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Al Gore for their efforts to disseminate knowledge about man-made climate change and measures to counteract it.
In an interview with India Ink, Dr. Pachauri sounded a note of caution about the energy future of India, saying, “If we continue with business as usual in India, by 2031-32 we will be importing 750 million tons of oil and 1,300 million tons of coal. Where are we going to get all that from?”
A lot of money has been spent on river cleanup programs but, I am afraid, the results are not there to see. There is no appropriate oversight mechanism, which could make some of these actions transparent and therefore subject to scrutiny.
The second area is tackling the Himalayan ecosystems, which have been degraded to a point where the impact is not just confined to the Himalayan region, but felt much further downstream. When green cover is damaged, it leads to greater proneness to floods.
The other serious problem is melting of the glaciers, and that’s also going to affect river flows adversely.
We have to empower local institutions, and it will take a period of time. Those critics who say that Panchayati Raj systems cannot be relied upon are belittling the very foundations of democracy. Gandhi-ji was very wise when he emphasized the importance of villages in our society. But we ignored his advice and his vision all this while.
The government needs to create incentives for people to adopt this rating system. This will be a long haul. It must happen, it will happen.
The Kutch region and the Sunderbans are very vulnerable, the Maldives and our neighbor Bangladesh are extremely vulnerable, too. All of this will have implications for us.
The rise in the sea level in this country is already causing problems, in the sense that every time there is a storm surge, or a cyclone, it affects these areas in a very hazardous way.
If we have more heat waves, then we certainly need better early warning systems for people to make sure that they are not exposed to that heat for long periods of time.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on the mountain and climate related issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last two years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>