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US seeks international help on climate change

Last updated on: February 18, 2009 14:27 IST

US President Barack Obama has sought the help of major countries of the world including China and India in addressing the urgent issue of climate change and clean energy.
     
In an interview to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Tuesday, Obama said the dilemma countries like Canada, the US and China face is how to obtain the energy, which is essential for the economic growth, in a way that is not rapidly accelerating the climate change.
     
Observing that no country can solve this problem in isolation, Obama said: "So Canada, the US, China, India, the European Union, all of us are going to have to work together in an effective way to figure out how do we balance the imperatives of economic growth with very real concerns about the effect we're having on our planet."
     
Ultimately this can be solved by technology, Obama argued. "I think that it is possible for us to create a set of clean energy mechanisms that allow us to use things not just like oil sands, but also coal."
     
The US has its own homegrown problems in terms of dealing with a cheap energy source that creates a big carbon
footprint. Currently the US in association with countries like China and India is developing a clean coal technology to
produce electricity."It's going to be important for us to make sure that countries like China and India, with enormous populations and huge energy needs, that they are brought into this process, as well," Obama said as he referred to the tri-lateral cooperation between US, Mexico and Canada in North America.
     
As the climate change crisis grows bigger every passing day, Obama said it is important to capture the greenhouse
gases before they're emitted into the atmosphere. That is going to be good for everybody, he said.
     
"If we don't, then we're going to have a ceiling at some point in terms of our ability to expand our economies and
maintain the standard of living that's so important, particularly when you've got countries like China and India that are obviously interested in catching up," Obama said.
     
"The more that we can develop technologies that tap alternative sources of energy but also contain the environmental damage of fossil fuels, the better off we're going to be," he said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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