‘India should tap solar and wind energy aggressively’

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Climate change expert Rajendra Pachauri has stressed the need for leading cities in India to adopt effective public transport and mass transit systems as a means to mitigate the after effects of climate change, says a DNA report.

Pachauri suggested this in the course of his lecture on ‘Dealing with climate change, why India should lead’ as a part of the Pune International Centre’s (PIC) ongoing lecture series on the theme of ‘reinventing India’ held at the Symbiosis Vishwabhavan hall recently.

According to Pachauri, India would be importing 1,400 million tonnes of coal and 750 million tonnes of oil in 2030 and this could cost the country 20 per cent of its gross domestic product. Pachauri said that such a situation was unsustainable and measures needed to be taken to prevent over dependence on coal and oil. He suggested the need for India to tap both solar and wind energy aggressively.

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Explaining the need for India to take the lead in dealing with climate change, Pachauri said the developing countries will face the brunt of the downside of climate change. According to Pachauri, the fatalities arising from natural disasters in developing countries between 1970-2008 was a whopping 95 per cent.

Citing the example of the heavy rainfall in Mumbai in 2005, Pachauri said that India needed to put in place systems to counter such emergencies.

Ecologist Madhav Gadgil, who chaired the session, expressed concern over the government of Maharashtra allowing construction on the hills around Pune. He said, “It is unfortunate that the citizens’ voices have not been heard on the matter. It is a blow to the democratic process and needs to be debated.’’ Gadgil also criticised the glass facade buildings on Senapati Bapat Road stating that they were energy guzzlers and did nothing to mitigate climate change.

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