Act now

“In the case of climate change we don’t have the luxury of time. If we need to take any actions, we have to take it as early as possible,” says Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri, Director General, TERI India and Chairman IPCC
 In an exclusive interview, internationally acclaimed environmentalist Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri speaks with Subhajit Roy and discusses why Modi’s Gujarat model of optimising renewable energy will work for India. He also urges early actions to tackle with the climate change-related issues.
How do you look at the present government’s initiative towards promoting renewable energy?We have to see what is going to happen. What I know is that when the Prime Minister was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he did more for the renewable energy than any other chief minister in the country. He has not only shown us the vision but also the determination for implementation. As we know in Gujarat, the canals have been covered with photovoltaic panels. That has huge benefits — there is no need of land, and it cuts down on evaporation. With the lower temperatures of photovoltaic panels, the performance also improves. Besides, people living by the canals can get electricity supply. All I would say is when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he did a remarkable job of promoting renewable energy. I am sure this will be the case now as he is the prime minister.
Do you feel that the Gujarat model will work for India as well? As far as renewable energy is concerned, it will certainly work because we have the required technology and demand. Economics also supports it.
PV manufacturing sector was facing some challenges. What are your suggestions to deal with DCR-related issues?I don’t know enough about the manufacturing sector as far as photovoltaic is concerned. Anyone who is in this field in India is bound to do well simply because the growth of the market is going to be phenomenal. There is no doubt about it.
The government aims at achieving targets of 20,000 MW of solar power generation by 2020. Your comments.I hope that the government will raise its ambitions to a higher level. Also the cost of solar power has come down. Eight years before, nobody knew that the cost will come down so much. My own expectation is that it will further come down significantly. Therefore, solar cost will become even more competitive in the future.
Talking about climate change what is the way to come out from the conflict among developed and developing countries?Frankly speaking, I don’t think there is a conflict. This is a part of negotiations, and these things take time — for example, if we look at the WTO or other international negotiations. Most importantly, in the case of climate change, we don’t have the luxury of time. If we need to take any actions we have to take it as early as possible. That can be done in many ways. We can do it in our own home, our own countries as well as internationally.

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