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India announces Panel to "study" global warming

The Hindu News Update Service

Warning that the threat of climate change was real, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said future of people will be at peril if they do not change their lifestyles.

Singh’s warning came on a day when he constituted a high level advisory group to help the government take pro-active measures to deal with global warming.

“The threat of climate change is real and unless we alter our lifestyles and pursue a sustainable model of development, our future will be at peril”, he said in a message on the occasion of World Environment Day.

So, what exactly is the Indian position on climate change, something that threatens its coastlines, will put entire villages under water in the Ganga delta, screw around with the monsoon, and accelerate glacier melting in the Himalayas (among many other effects?)

Here’s India’s position from the talks with Brazil last week…

“We are willing to work in partnership in this process to cut emissions but we cannot accept equal responsibility (for the global mess caused by the industrialised nations),” an Indian official said.

The country’s top environmental official, Pradipto Ghosh, said yesterday that “legally mandated measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are likely to have significant adverse effects on the GDP growth of developing countries, including India”.

Yes, obviously. The world is in desperate need of a framework to make development and poverty alleviation happen without burning too much coal. But, as long as the leader of the free world vacillates, obfuscates and procrastinates, not much will happen.

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