`US needs to change lifestyle to save planet`

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 11:20

United Nations: Ahead of the Climate
Change Summit here, India has underlined the need for the
United States to embark on a "lifestyle change" to save the
planet as New Delhi said it was on the path to unilateral
voluntary mitigation measures by 2020 to combat climate
change.

Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, who is in
New York to attend the Climate Change Summit, told an audience
here that India was on the path to unilateral voluntary
mitigation measures by 2020.

These would include mandatory fuel efficiency
standards, renewable energy initiatives, clean coal
technologies, and lower methane farming, he said.
Ramesh and climate change expert Rajendra Pachauri
underlined the need for the US to bring about a
"lifestyle change" to combat climate change.

"In terms of lifestyle changes the time has come that
we should not be shy about raising this issue," said Pachauri,
the chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

He said it was time for "major changes" in our value
systems. "There is a ground swell of public opinion also that
some major changes have to be made in value systems," Pachauri
said.

"If it is affecting the rest of the planet then it
should be up for negotiation," the scientist underlined.

The Indian Minister suggested it was wrong to blame
India for the deadlock on the global climate change accord.

"It beats me how as to how a country that accounts for
less than five percent of the world`s greenhouse gases (India)
is painted as the one that is preventing the deal in a country
that accounts for 20 percent of the world`s greenhouse gases,"
Ramesh noted.

He called the Waxman-Markey Bill, which was passed by
the US House of Representative, a step forward because it
takes on quantitative emission cuts by 2020.

"The US has entered the international environmental
arena," he said. The Bill, however, still has a steep climb to
pass the US Senate.

Pachauri underlined the need for the Obama
administration to take on a set of executive steps even while
the Bill is pending. "I think they can do a lot in terms of
promoting renewable energy," he said.

"Between now and Copenhagen they could take a lot of
action, which will be an important message for the Congress."
Ramesh said the voluntary mitigation measures by India
would soon be worked into legislation.

"We are not part of the problem but we want to be part
of the solution," he stressed.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 11:20

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