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Very limited progress at Copenhagen: Manmohan

ACCOLADES FROM INDIA: Nobel laureate Roger Yonchien Tsien being honoured by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the Indian Science Congress session in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.

ACCOLADES FROM INDIA: Nobel laureate Roger Yonchien Tsien being honoured by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the Indian Science Congress session in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: S. Gopakumar

P. Sunderarajan

“But we should not lag behind in mitigation strategies”

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: 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 had to move to a low greenhouse gas emissions and energy-efficient development path. 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.”

“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,” Dr. Singh said.

India 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.”

Cataloguing the measures being taken by the Centre in the area of climate change, he noted that it had 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, particularly in the context of climate change, through more research.

He said the country should pursue leads that biotechnology offered to increase crop productivity. But “legitimate” questions of safety must be given “full weightage,” with appropriate regulatory control based on a strictly scientific basis.

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