Can switch to cleaner energy sources if world helps: PM

Days after India ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the country can switch over to cleaner energy sources from coal if the world provides the technology and resources.

However, he said until the country got the required resources and technology, he would think of an “alternative” to meet its rising energy demand.

As per the Paris agreement, India has committed to ensuring that at least 40 per cent of its electricity will be generated from “non-fossil” sources by 2030. The country is the world’s third-biggest carbon emitter.

“They (houses) need electricity which should be provided to them. Their (people’s) aspirations should be fulfilled and this is our responsibility, but not at the cost of the nature.

“If the world helps me technologically, provides us with the resources, I would be the first person to emphasise on switching from coal to cleaner sources of energy. Until I am able to do that, I will think of something else,” Modi said in response to a question asked by American TV show host David Letterman in a documentary series, ‘Years of Living Dangerously’, aired today.

Stating that environment is a “collective” responsibility, the prime minister said, “In today’s world, no country can remain isolated. The entire world in inter-dependent.”

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi in the context of environment, he said the present generation should behave like its “trustees”.

“We are the trustees…we are not owners of what we will give to the coming generations…whatever I am using today is on credit from the future generations,” he said.

Modi mentioned that though he grew up in poverty, he was always interested in “spiritual” activities and had nurtured the love for nature. Therefore, he spent some “important” years of his youth on them.


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