Clinton announces clean energy agreement with India
President Clinton has announced $45 million in funding for the development of clean energy in India.
The funding is part of an environmental partnership agreement with India. Currently on a state visit to India, Clinton said the US Agency for International Development will spend $45 million to promote more efficient energy production and use in India, plus $50 million to promote clean energy throughout South Asia.
Clinton also said the US Department of Energy and the USEPA will resume their technical assistance programmes to help reduce air and water pollution in India. The programmes were suspended following India’s underground testing of nuclear weapons in 1998.
A further $200 million will be made available for clean energy projects through the Import-Export Bank.
Clinton said the agreement could help towards the ultimate ratification of the Kyoto Protocol: “We must remember our obligations to realise the promise of the landmark Kyoto Protocol on climate change,” Clinton said. “For if we act wisely, this agreement can help both the developed and the developing nations to harness the power of the market to build a clean energy future. We must complete the work done in Kyoto so that the United States and other nations can ratify the protocol and it can enter into force.”
Clinton’s announcement came after India’s Prime Minister Vajpayee affirmed that India will embrace specific national goals for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“In so doing, India is exercising leadership for the entire world,” Clinton said. “It will clean the air; it will reduce greenhouse gas pollution and global warming; and it will be good for [India’s] economy.”
“With this historic agreement, our two nations will work to help turn India’s environmental goals into a reality that also supports economic growth.”
Clinton also said the US will never ask India or any other developing nation to give up its economic growth in order to reduce pollution, but said that US and Indian scientists should work together to prove that economic growth and a clean environment can be achieved simultaneously.
Clinton went on: “Now, let me say that there are some people who don’t believe anything can be done about global warming because they don’t believe the economy can grow unless energy is used in the same way it has been used for 100 years in the industrialised countries. They do not believe that India can grow wealthy unless you put more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by burning more oil and coal, in the same way the United States and Europe and Japan did.
“And in the Industrial Age that might have been true, but that is no longer true. Many members of our delegation today rode over here in electric buses that you use here to keep from promoting air pollution. In no time at all we will have electric vehicles or
vehicles that use fuel from farm products, or from simple grasses that will not pollute the atmosphere. In no time at all we will be using solar power wherever it is feasible. We will be building buildings with materials that keep heat and cold out and are far more efficient.
“We can, in short, do something today that could not be done 50 years ago. We can promote more economic growth in India by using less energy and keeping the environment cleaner. In other words, the economic conditions today are precisely the reverse of what they were 50 years ago.”