HT: Voicing his concern on “painfully slow” progress in climate talks, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hit at rich nations for not doing enough to fight climate change.
Singh, while inaugurating the Fourth Clean Energy Ministerial, also made it clear that rich nations, who were responsible for a bulk of global warming causing greenhouse gas emissions, were best placed to provide workable solutions.
“They (industrialised nations) also have high per capita incomes which gives them the highest capacity to bear the burden. They are technically most advanced, and to that extent best placed to provide workable solutions not only for themselves but for the whole world,” he said.
At the same time, Singh said issues of financing mitigation actions to tackle climate change have been a focus of intense discussion in negotiations under the auspices of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“For the moment green energy is not viable on its own without subsidy or regulatory incentives… market forces will not provide sufficient financing unless the risks of policy change are appropriately addressed,” the PM told energy ministers from 22 countries, who contribute 80% of global carbon emissions.
His remarks came after a new International Energy Agency (IEA) report said that investment for cleaner technologies dropped by 11% in 2012 and average unit of energy produced today was as “dirty” as it was 23 years ago.
Maria van der Hoevan, IEA’s executive director also said energy from non-fossil sources grew by 6% in the last two years particularly in Europe because of import of cheap coal from US.
She also did her bit to sell carbon capture and sequestration technology to which India had said a firm no.
Steven Chu, US energy secretary said the private and public sectors have to play a big role in promoting clean and efficient energy.
Policies promoting energy efficiency would help in attracting investment in countries like India, he said, while giving example of how Africa has attracted investment.
The PM said that the pace of reliance on new energy sources was constrained by the fact that they were more expensive than conventional energy even though prices of solar energy have halved in the last three years.
Singh said the climate negotiations were slow and stabilising of global temperatures at acceptable levels is nowhere in sight while asking individual nations to promote clean energy to fight climate change.
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