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Updated: August 19, 2009 09:54 IST

India, US can devise together a plan on climate change: Hillary

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is seen during a joint press availability on Tuesday, at the Department of State in Washington.
AP Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is seen during a joint press availability on Tuesday, at the Department of State in Washington.

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has exuded confidence that despite differences over the way to tackle climate change, India and the United States can devise a successful plan on the issue.

“I am very confident -- and even more so after this trip -- that the United States and India can devise a plan that will dramatically change the way we produce, consume, and conserve energy. And, in the process, start an explosion of new investments and millions of jobs,” Ms. Clinton said.

“How India and the United States can work together to devise a comprehensive, strategic approach to climate change and a clean energy future was an important topic of my trip,” Ms. Clinton said in written response to a question texted to her on her trip to India last month. The answers have been posted on the website of the State Department.

The issue was discussed with the leaders from both Indian government and Indian businesses. “We in the United States, under the Obama administration, are recognising our responsibility and taking action,” she said.

“The times we live in demand nothing less than a total commitment. The statistics are there for everyone to see. And as both of our nations reaffirmed at the Major Economies Forum just recently held in Italy, and moderated by President Obama, we need a successful outcome in Copenhagen later this year,” Ms. Clinton said.

The Obama Administration is under no illusion that this will be easy, because the challenge is to create a global framework that recognises the different needs and responsibilities of developed and developing countries alike, she noted.

Observing that she not only understands, but also agrees with the concern of countries like India, Ms. Clinton said: “The United States and other countries that have been the biggest historic emitters of greenhouse gases should shoulder the biggest burden for cleaning up the environment and reducing our carbon footprint.”

Reiterating that no one wants to in any way stall or undermine the economic growth that is necessary to lift millions of more people out of poverty, Ms. Clinton said addressing climate change and achieving economic growth, in her view, are compatible goals.

“And we know, as we look at the forecast of rising sea levels and changing rainfall and melting glaciers that India is a country very vulnerable to climate change. It is also a country most likely to benefit from clean energy policies that are key to economic sustainability in the 21st century,” she said.

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