President Barack Obama has said that it is in US interest to offer India with technologies that will allow them to leapfrog over dirty technologies and achieve developmental goals in an environmental friendly way.
Obama’s remarks in an interview to the CBS news early this week assumes significance as countries are literally burning midnight oil in Paris to arrive at an agreement which not only address challenges posed by climate change, but also India’s developmental needs.
“It is in our interest to help them (India) develop.
Because they’re not going to say, okay, we’re just going to stay poor – they’re going to want cars and refrigerators and air conditioning, just like we have,” said Obama.
“It’s in our interest to say to them, here’s technologies that can allow you to leapfrog over the dirty technologies; do it in a cleaner, smarter way,” he said.
“We do that not out of charity; we do it because – here’s one thing you can’t do. You can’t build a wall to the atmosphere. You can’t build a border wall when it comes to carbon emissions or global temperatures or the oceans,” Obama said.
“And so this is one of those things where we’re all in it together and we’ve got to make sure that people have incentives to work with us,” he added.
For the past few months, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been seeking “climate justice” arguing that India was a victim of global warming and is not responsible for the pollutants and massive development based on fossil fuel.
Having an ambitious path to development, India has been seeking from the developed world access to the environmental friendly technologies and funding for that. The developed world so far has been reluctant to offer technologies that can help India meet its developmental goals in an environment friendly way.
During the interview, Obama indicated that the US is willing to address India’s need of environmental friendly technologies.
“We already are involved in all kinds of programs to help countries develop their energy strategies, to develop adaptations to rising seas or drought or improve agriculture.
So there are a bunch of streams of money that we already provide various countries,” he said, without specifically mentioning India.
“And part of our job coming out of Paris is going to be make sure that we adapt our foreign aid approaches so that we’re also helping countries grow while not polluting,” he said.
“And this is in our interest. Keep in mind that – let’s take a country like India that’s got over a billion people,” he added.