New Delhi, February 7
Minister Manmohan Singh today linked climate change to a wide gamut of developmental activities and said his government was preparing an action plan, which will become a tool for poverty reduction.

The Prime Minister, while inaugurating the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) here, said the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change was working on a National Plan of Action for Climate Change, which would be released in June. He announced that his government had decided to link all academic institutions that work on climate change on a national knowledge net.

“Our National Plan of Action on Climate Change will be released in June later this year. An area that needs immediate attention is that of public transport. We have asked the Planning Commission to come up with a comprehensive policy in this regard,” Dr Manmohan Singh said. The Prime Minister said India would adopt a responsible and forward-looking stance aimed at promoting sustainable development as the impact of climate change fell differently on people and the poor are the worst hit. “We need technology innovations for reduction of energy use by industry and other user sectors,” he added.

The Prime Minister, further elaborating, said the country needed technology innovations for reduction of energy use by industry and other user sectors. “We need massive action for afforestation, drought proofing and flood protection. We need to act to protect our coastal areas. We need action to protect the glaciers that feed our river systems. A whole gamut of development action needs to be planned and funded. Our 11th Five Year Plan has articulated strategies in many of these areas for our nation.”

The Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change is now 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…. Action on climate change can then become an action for poverty reduction to reduce the vulnerabilities of the poor people everywhere.”

The Prime Minister also called for an international treaty that would provide “climate justice”. He said by “climate justice” he meant a fair, equitable and transparent global regime for technology transfers. “It is in the interests of people living in developed and developing countries to facilitate such transfers. We, living in a developing world, desperately need access to environment friendly technologies, especially in energy, transportation, manufacturing and agriculture.”

He laid stress on the need to create knowledge partnerships across countries to collaborate on climate change action.

Presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of Maldives and Olafur Ragnar Grimsson of Iceland and Prime Ministers Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Denmark), Jens Stoltenberg (Norway) and Matti Vanhenen (Finland) were present during the speech.

Source: Rajeev Sharma Tribune News Service