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News on India Climate Change and Energy - as PM Singh Arrives In Washington

Jacob Scherr

Posted November 23, 2009

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India's Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, arrives in Washington for the November 24th state visit with President Obama.  Assistant Secretary of State, Robert Blake, predicts "You'll see during the course of this visit, we'll have some important deliverables to announce in the area of energy and climate change."  Prime Minister Singh tells a US-India Business Council meeting that the two governments will sign a MoU on energy security, clean energy, and climate change.   An article in the Hindu says India is linking commitments to action on climate to greater U.S. cooperation on nuclear power.  An article in the Christian Science Monitor says India is upset by Obama's trip to China.   

NRDC's President Frances Beinecke writes to President Obama ahead of Singh's arrival to encourage increased cooperation on climate and energy.  Beinecke also participates with UN IPCC chair Dr. Rajendra Pachauri in a conference call with press, to discuss Singh's visit and the importance of passing climate legislation now before the Senate.  Articles in the New York Times and Reuters, writing about the call, focus on Pachauri's statement that without action from the Senate, Copenhagen cannot produce much.  NRDC releases a fact sheet on India's actions on climate change, and the Manish Bapna of World Resources Institute blogs about the three myths regarding India and climate change.  

India releases yet more details on its National Solar Mission, outlining the costs with a new twist; the success of the plan lies in availability of international finance and technology.

India's Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh says no study has yet proven climate change will adversely affect India's crop yields.   Environmental activist Vandana Shiva takes issue with a discussion paper recently released by Ramesh's ministry questioning whether Himalayan glaciers are melting.  The Washington Post quotes Ramesh saying "there is an urgent need to have our own studies by our scientists."  Lester Brown says the glaciers in question are melting, as a result of a warming world, and threatening India's food supply at the same time.  

Prime Minister Singh tells Ramesh and Climate Envoy Shyam Saran to settle their differences on India's climate stance, and formulate a joint statement. 

An article in the Washington Post drags the US India climate dialogue backwards three months, ignoring progress and claiming the US is insisting India take hard emissions targets, which, as we have written, is incorrect.  An OpEd in the Business Standard argues that the U.S. should affirm India's right to develop, which they have, and that India should adopt national targets, which they are.  A communist leader in India warns against ties with the U.S. on all fronts.      The Indian press speculates how India might use the "Copenhagen Breather."  The Economic Times runs an article that wonders if India has shown its hand too early

Minister Ramesh announces new air quality norms for all of India, including industrial areas.  At an event to mark the release of a comprehensive new report by TERI on India's environment, Ramesh claims India could win a Nobel for filth.

(Thanks to Michael Thompson for his assistance in preparing this blog entry.)

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