India’s Economic Growth Not To Be Hindered By US - Clinton
After making a strong pitch for low-carbon economy and seeking a pro-active cooperation for the new global climate deal, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, assured that Washington will "not do anything that will limit India's economic progress".
"The US does not and will not do anything that will limit India's economic progress. We believe that economic progress in India is in everyone's interest and not just in the interest of Indians," Clinton said at a conference on climate change at the ITC Green Building in this satellite town of Delhi.
Clinton arrived in Delhi on Sunday afternoon for a two-day visit with the focus on the expansion of the scope of the strategic dialogue which also includes the discussions on climate change.
At the climate change conference, she was accompanied by the US special envoy on climate change Todd Stern, US ambassador-designate to India Timothy J. Roemer and other senior US embassy officials.
"To lift people out of poverty and to give every child born in India a chance to live up to his or her given potential is a goal that we share with you," said a beaming Clinton.
"But we also believe that there is a way to eradicate poverty and develop sustainability that will lower significantly the carbon footprint of the energy that is produced and consumed to fuel that growth," she said while acknowledging the US' responsibility as the biggest historic emitter of greenhouse gas.
"Addressing climate change and achieving economic growth in our view are compatible," Clinton said.
"The US and India can devise a plan that will dramatically change the way we produce, consume and conserve energy," Clinton stressed.
Minister of State for Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Special Envoy on Climate Change Shyam Saran also participated in the conference.
Ramesh assured Clinton of India's commitment to combat global warming and cooperation for a successful outcome of the Copenhagen summit in December, which is organised to find a successor to the Kyoto protocol that, expires in 2012.
"I want to say that both sides have agreed on the need of partnerships, concrete partnerships, on projects in various fields like energy efficiency, solar energy, biomass, energy-efficient buildings of the type that you are seeing here today," said Ramesh, who was flanked by Clinton.
Clinton was trying to address India's core concern about negotiations on climate change, especially about the impact of binding cuts on greenhouse emissions on economies of developing countries.
India has advocated the principle of collective but differentiated responsibilities of developing and developed countries in cutting down greenhouse gas emissions.
New Delhi has consistently argued that any new deal should not impinge on the economic growth of developing countries.
Clinton will try to narrow a wide gap with India on the issue of climate change in her discussions with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna in New Delhi Monday.
Lauding India for steps in introducing green buildings and promoting renewable energy, Clinton cited the ITC hotel chain's Green Building here as a "monument of the future" and a shining example of the growing India-US cooperation in the field of climate change and clean energy.
The office complex, designed to use as much natural light as possible, has been awarded a platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating, the highest given by the US Green Building Council.