Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on Sunday said that though “very limited” progress was made at the recent climate change summit at Copenhagen and none was “fully satisfied” with the outcome, the fact remained that the world has to move to a low greenhouse gas emissions and energy-efficient development path and India should not lag behind in developing science and technology related to both the aspects of mitigation and adaptation.

Inaugurating the 97th annual session of the Indian Science Congress, Dr. Singh said: “It [climate change] is a problem that is challenging the knowledge and wisdom of humankind. We were able to make only very limited progress at the Copenhagen summit and no one was fully satisfied with the outcome. And yet, there is no escaping the truth that the nations of the world have to move to a low greenhouse gas emission and energy efficient development path.

“All over the world, countries are chalking out strategies to achieve greater energy efficiency and a shift to renewable sources of energy. They are also chalking out strategies for adapting to such climate change, as it is inevitable. India must not lag behind in these areas.”

India, he said, should in fact plan to be among the leaders in the development of science and technology related to both mitigation and adaptation. “The market for such technologies is not just India. It is the whole world.”

Solar mission

Cataloguing the various measures being taken by the Centre in the area of climate change, he noted that it has been decided to launch a national solar mission for establishment of 20,000 MW solar generation capacity by 2020. The Ministry of Science and Technology has already launched a pan-IIT research programme to bring down the costs of solar energy technology options.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the need for strengthening food security in the country, particularly in the context of climate change, through more research.