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Energy security worry to drive India's low-CO2 plan

(Planet Ark, 24 Mar 10) Worries over energy security will drive India's goal to slow the growth of its carbon emissions, the head of a government panel tasked with developing the country's low-carbon strategy said on Monday.

Reserves of fossil fuels such as coal were fast running out, making it imperative for India to improve efficiency and accelerate renewable energy sources to keep the economy growing at a projected 8 to 9 percent annually, Kirit Parikh said.

India, the world's fourth-largest carbon emitter, is under pressure to cut pollution in the fight against climate change. While per-capita emissions are still low, demand for electricity and fossil fuels is increasing as the middle class clamors for more cars, TVs and better housing.

"If the Indian economy is not concerned at all with climate change ... and follows the business-as-usual path, the reality is even in business-as-usual we have to change from what we are today," Parikh told Reuters in an interview.

"These are your imperatives in any way from your energy security point of view because we are very short of oil, very short of gas.

"We need to find in the next 20, at the most 30 years, an alternative to coal-based power plants. That will be required in a business-as-usual scenario."

Planet Ark, 24 Mar 10: Energy security worry to drive India's low-CO2 plan

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