Government is considering setting up a Venture Capital Fund to promote green technologies, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday. He also said that the National Plan of Action on Climate Change to be released in June this year would address the challenges of global warming.
"The Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change is working on a National Plan of Action for Climate Change. Even as we engage internationally in creating a global strategy to address climate change we would in parallel work on local, sub national and national action to meet the challenges of climate change," he said inaugurating the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit in New Delhi.
The environmental crisis that manifests as climate change makes the people realise that they have a common predicament, he said, adding "it is a collective crisis but, if imaginatively handled, offers a collective opportunity to reinforce human solidarity in the face of natural forces".
"So, we take our responsibility seriously," he told the summit being attended by global leaders from several countries including Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
The National Plan of Action on Climate Change would be released in June this year, Singh said observing that public transport needed immediate attention and the government has asked the Planning Commission to come up with a comprehensive policy in this regard.
Emphasising the need to create knowledge partnerships across countries to collaborate on climate change action, Singh said India has decided to link all academic institutions that work on climate change on a national knowledge net and also identify key knowledge institutions that become centres of excellence in climate change related research.
Noting that the country needed technology innovations for reduction of energy use by industry, massive action for afforestation, drought proofing and flood protection and protection of coastal areas and glaciers, he said the 11th Five Year Plan has articulated strategies in many of these areas.
The Prime Minister said at the international level, India would continue to engage with all nations to strengthen global initiatives in the area of climate change.
Recalling his commitment on carbon emissions at the last G-8 Summit at Heiligendamm, Singh said, "India is prepared to commit that our per capita carbon emissions will never exceed the average per capital emissions of developed industrial economies. Moreover, as developed countries take measures to bring down their per capita carbon emissions, our threshold would come down too. This is our solemn commitment."
Hoping that the participants would endorse India's stand, he said "we cannot continue with a global development model in which some countries continue to maintain high carbon emissions, while the development options available for developing countries get constrained."
Noting that 'climate justice' meant fair, equitable and transparent global regime for technology transfer, Singh said it was in the interests of people living in developed countries to facilitate such transfer.
"We in the developing world desperately need access to environment friendly technologies, especially in energy, transportation, manufacturing and agriculture," he said.
Such technology transfer will provide new opportunities for resource transfers to countries for adaptation. Nations of the world would have to engage in the next two years to create a consensus on a new architecture for cooperation that involves finance and technology support to countries for adaptation, he said.
The prime minister also sought a national debate on the energy pricing policies whether they were contributing to environmental degradation, over use of resources through misdirected subsidies, long-term costs of the short-term benefits and the future energy security.
On the occasion, Maldives President was given the leadership award for his contribution to environment protection. Speaking at the summit, scientist R K Pachauri said the government could consider shifting the subsidies on kerosene to solar lighting in order to promote solar energy in the country. He also presented a solar lantern developed by TERI to the prime minister.