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India must work towards meaningful climate deal at Paris

Thursday, Dec 3, 2015,15:44 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | A pro-environment Sikh-American group today said that India should commit itself to reducing carbon emissions and work towards a meaningful agreement at the UN climate summit in Paris.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes the argument that historically, India has not been the largest emitters of carbon and therefore should be able to prioritise development over environmental conservation, India still has the duty to its citizens to provide them with a safe, clean and healthy environment to live in, said Rajwant Singh, president of EcoSikh.

He appreciated Modi’s drive to increase alternate sources of energy for the country and focusing on technology transfers, research and development and investment in India’s alternative energy sector with overall goal of emissions reductions.

Amar Singh Sawhney, a member of EcoSikh’s Board of Directors and CEO of Boston-based Ocular Therapeutix Inc, said there is a cost to using fossil fuel-based energy that goes beyond global warming and its catastrophic climate change implications. The additional costs come in the form of health disasters from particulate and other gaseous emissions that are affecting the Indian populace.

Already, asthma, lung cancer, and other diseases are growing in incidence dramatically in India as a direct result of air pollution, he said. EcoSikh has been invited by French President Francois Hollande and by the White House this year on consultations on climate change issues for faith perspectives.