NEW YORK, September 30, 2008 – In the midst of uncertain financial times, the gravity of climate change and energy security are only further compounded. The Honorable Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of External Affairs of India, shared India's perspective on these two crucial issues of global concern.
Mukherjee spoke to the closely-linked challenges posed by climate change and energy security, emphasizing the urgency with which these very real and serious risks must be addressed in order to avoid grave consequences. Stating that "Only a timely multilateral and collaborative approach among nations will be able to provide the required response," he stressed the importance of global cooperation. Mukherjee called for a renewed spirit and heightened enthusiasm during negotiations in order to obtain "an extraordinary outcome."
Throughout his speech Mukherjee touched upon the importance of accountability—both historically and going forward—of developed countries, and the necessity of a "fair and equitable" global solution. He cited India’s impressive emissions record as an example of its dedication to achieving environmental sustainability, and highlighted priorities like a strategic shift from fossil fuels to non-fossil fuels and to alternate sources of energy. India's recently-adopted National Action Plan on Climate Change lays out an ambitious plan to develop solar energy (in addition to eight other national missions), and Mukherjee also pointed out the importance of nuclear energy and the much-anticipated success of a US-India civil nuclear agreement.
Mukherjee concluded by quoting India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, addressing the UN General Assembly one week earlier: "There is a mutuality of interest in this between the developed and developing countries. We hope the world will act in this spirit of enlightened self-interest."
The conversation was moderated by Ambassador Frank G. Wisner, Vice Chairman, External Affairs, American International Group.
Reported by Kyle Carroll
"The sun is the original inexhaustible, renewable source of energy" — Mukherjee discusses India's commitment to new solar technologies (2 min., 12 sec.)
Listen to the complete program (58 min.)