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Friday, 11th January 2008

Switched-on India: How can India address climate change and meet its energy needs?

Switched-on India: How can India address climate change and meet its energy needs?
Source: Institute for Public Policy Research

India is a country that acutely illustrates the nature of the challenge involved in developing its economy and preventing dangerous climate change. India’s economy is growing at the rate of 9 per cent per annum, while pumping out large amounts of greenhouse gases. Yet the vast majority of the population literally live in darkness. Almost half of India’s households do not have electricity, and women and girls spend a total of 80 billion hours each year collecting firewood, a fuel that damages the lungs of 24 million adults. It will cost US$130 billion simply to ensure that all Indian households enjoy access to electricity by 2030 – a cost that would rise if this power were to come from clean fuel sources.

India’s dilemma raises significant questions of social justice. First, in a profoundly unequal world, how much effort should each country contribute to the protection of the global atmosphere? Second, what policy architecture and mechanisms can be devised to reach
climate goals and who will pay for these policies?

+ Full Paper (PDF; 424 KB)


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