Restricting the effects of climate change would lead to sustainable development, environmentalist R K Pachauri said here on Saturday.
“Limiting the effects of climate change is necessary to achieve sustainable development, equity and poverty reduction,” Pachauri, director-general of The Energy and Resources Institute and chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said while delivering the third United Nations public lecture.
He emphasised the country needed a new energy regime. “I am really concerned about the growing dependence of India on oil imports and the present situation in Iraq is adding to it,” he said, adding growing exposure to climate change in India would have an adverse impact on the country’s economic growth, health, development and poverty situation.
Citing IPCC’s fifth assessment report, Pachauri said there was 95 per cent certainty human influence had been the dominant cause of the global warming seen since the mid-20th century.
“Limiting the effect of climate change will require sustained and substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. Total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission had continued to increase from 1970 to 2010 and the rise registered between 2000 and 2010 was the highest in human history, he added.
The primary barrier to eradicating poverty was the fact that the poor lacked access to energy resources, he said. “India has the largest number of people lacking access to electricity and clean cooking fuels in the world.”