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India, China must address climate change: US

May 07, 2014 11:02 IST

A drought-hit farmer sits in his paddy field on the outskirts of Ambala, Haryana.Moments after releasing a report on the impact of climate change in the US, the White House has said it is essential that countries with high carbon emission, such as India and China, be responsible in addressing this major challenge.  

"It is absolutely essential that nations that produce high levels of carbon emissions be responsible in addressing this challenge," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Tuesday during his daily news conference when asked about India and China.        

Carney said it is in the national security interest of the US to reduce dependence on import of energy. 

"It is absolutely in our national security interests and energy interests to diversify our sources of energy. And that is why approaching this as a whole as opposed to addressing each piece of it is essential to improving both our preparation for the impacts of climate change and enhancing

our capacity to actually mitigate the damage that climate change can cause," he said.  

The White House Press Secretary said the impacts of climate change on weather are severe. 

"There was much discussion about that around the so-called polar vortex that we experienced here and other areas of the country experienced. I think that the fact that the severe winter that much of the country endured had an impact on GDP wasn't an assessment that we here alone made,

but economists, independent, on the outside, made and that nobody disagrees with," he said.

 "While no single weather event can be attributed to climate change, but the increase in the severity of weather that we have seen is attributable," said Carney.

"And that has significant impacts on our nation, on our people, on our economy. You see longer, hotter, drier droughts. You see more severe storms, like we saw with Sandy.

And it will only get worse, again, according to the science," he said.

Carney further said: "I understand that there is an inclination upon some to doubt the science, despite the overwhelming evidence and the overwhelming percentage in the 97 per cent range of scientists who study this issue who agree that climate change is real and that it is the result of human activity. But that denial doesn't help the country, the economy or the American people as it deals with a fact that is confronting us now, impacts that are real now."

 "The good news is that there are things we can do, practical things we can do to mitigate the challenges that climate change poses in the future, but also to prepare for the impacts that we are already experiencing and will experience because of climate change," he said.

Lalita K Jha in Washington
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