India's PM Says West is Environmentally Wasteful
CHIDAMBARAM, India -- Slamming the West for its "environmentally wasteful lifestyle", Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called on Wednesday for industrialised nations to look at alterative energy sources to save the environment.
"We, in the developing world, cannot afford to ape the West in terms of its environmentally wasteful lifestyle," Singh said at a science conference in Chidambaram, 195 km (120 miles) south of Tamil Nadu's state capital, Chennai.
"Equally, developed industrial economies must realise that they too must alter their consumption patterns so that few do not draw upon so much of the Earth's resources."
Experts say the progressive use of primary energy sources such as coal and subsequent unchecked carbon emissions could see temperatures rise by 2-3 degrees Celsius in the next 50 years.
According to the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, the top five sources of greenhouse gases are the United States, China, Russia, India and Japan.
Experts say that, as global emissions rise, the Indian subcontinent will be one of the world's regions most seriously affected by climate change, meaning more frequent and more severe floods and droughts, more disease and poor crop yields.
Addressing more than 5,000 scientists, Singh said India's energy security demanded the development of affordable sources of renewable energy.
"We have invested billions of rupees in developing a range of energy sources. Be it hydel (hydro) power, thermal or nuclear power, we have to improve the productivity of investments already made," he said.
New environment-friendly technologies being developed to cut carbon emissions must be shared and made available to all so that the planet could be saved, he said.
"This must be a shared effort ... an effort that enables the poor to improve their quality of life, their well-being, their consumption levels without being forced to pay the price for the profligacy and excessive consumption of the rich."