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Pachauri backs India's N-power quest
January 06, 2008 14:53 IST
Supporting India's quest for nuclear power, United Nations climate panel's chief scientist R K Pachauri has said that country should pursue it to contain emission and meet energy needs.
"Nuclear power in my mind will have a place in overall scheme of things. Firstly, it is a clean energy as it does not emit any green house gases. Secondly, to certain extent, it would offset the pressure on fossil fuel," Pachauri, chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said.
In next one decade, you will not get a major chunk of energy from Nuclear power. Only six to seven per cent of energy need will be met. But you are laying the foundation of a much larger share of nuclear energy.
"I am not saying that nuclear is without any problems. Ensuring the safeguards of handling nuclear energy, the government must pursue with it as we have very serious shortage of national resources in this country like coal and hydrocarbons," he said.
"Therefore, nuclear power provides an opportunity to enhance energy sources and cut pollution levels. The government also understands this," Pachauri said.
On the issue of reducing emission to control climate change, Pachauri said that though India should not shy away from its responsibility of cutting emission, the onus lay on the developed countries to start the process.
"This is an issue, based on common but differentiated responsibility. India cannot be expected to commit to reduce emissions. It has to be first done by the developed nations," the Nobel laureate said.
The IPCC, led by Pachauri last year, won the Nobel Peace Prize for sounding the alarm over global warming and spreading awareness on how to counteract it.
Pachauri said that the last two years' award selection clearly reflected the fact that poverty and climate change can lead towards disruption of peace. It is a very clear signal that world must understand these are a serious impediments for world peace, he said.
In 2006, Nobel Peace Prize went to Muhammad Yunus for poverty alleviation in Bangladesh.
"Continuation of poverty is very serious threat to peace. The countries with largest amount of threat to security are in the poorest regions of the world like Afghanistan, Darfur and others. It is essentially the persistence of poverty which threatens peace," Pachauri said.
This is where Muhammad Yunus has done a remarkable job by setting up Grameen Banks for poverty alleviation in one of the poorest countries in the world, he said.
"Yunus has created the conditions for removing poverty among women, and those who are generally outside the system which would help in their upliftment. He has extended that system to include those who were earlier excluded," he said.
Similarly, climate change would have worst possible impact on the poor, Pachauri said, adding it would also provide basis for conflict in situations like water scarcity.
"It would also affect agriculture, particularly farmers depending on rain fed agriculture. If their livelihood is affected, they would be forced to migrate. This would put strain on limited resources, leading to conflicts," he added.