News You Really Need To See: “India, Facing Climate Change, Also Desperately Needs More Energy”

“India, Facing Climate Change, Also Desperately Needs More Energy”

The New York Times, November 11, 2015, p.B1

“India is home to 30 percent of the world’s poorest, those living on less than $1.90 a day. Of the 1.3 billion Indians, 304 million do not have access to electricity; 92 million have no access to safe drinking water.  And India is going to be hammered by climate change.  The livelihoods of 600 million Indians are threatened by the expected disruption of the southwest monsoon from July to September, which accounts for 70 percent of India’s rainfall. India’s rivers depend on the health of thousands of Himalayan glaciers at risk of melting because of a warming climate, while 150 million people are at risk from storm surges associated with rising sea levels.  A lot of damage is already inevitable, a consequence of the emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by richer countries. So, many Indians ask, Why must we pay more?  On what grounds can India be asked to temper its use of energy to limit its emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide?  ‘Today, I see the carbon space occupied by the developed world,’ Prakash Javadekar, the environment minister, said in an interview with The Associated Press in September.  ‘We are asking the developed world to vacate the carbon space to accommodate us.  That carbon space demand is climate justice.‘”

Quickie analysis:  A very thought-provoking piece about the ethical issues that come with any truly global effort to fight climate change.

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