Obama acknowledges India’s energy needs for growth

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2016,13:28 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | Acknowledging India’s massive energy needs, US President Barack Obama has underlined the need for passing clean coal technologies to the country to fight climate change while maintaining economic growth. In order to grow the economy, we have got to have energy. In fact, there are countries like India where it is even more desperate, Obama said in his address to the National Governors Association at the White House yesterday.

They (Indians) do not have electricity, he said. And if we are not giving them options, if the only message we have for them is, ‘stay poor’, the we are not going to solve the problem, Obama said. We have got to grow the economy, which means we have got to produce energy and we’ve got to deal with climate change.

The good news is that technology and research and development are accelerating rapidly, and because of the Paris agreement this would be going to accelerate progress even more, he said.

In his speech, Obama stressed the need of passing on the clean coal technologies to countries like India. I want India and China to know how to use clean coal, because they’re going to be building coal plants anyway. And if we’ve got technology that can help make sure that it is not emitting huge amounts of carbon, all the better, Obama said. After coming into office, Obama said his administration has invested in technologies to capture carbon from coal-fired plants.

The technologies are there, the problem is that they’re just really expensive right now. And so given relative prices to natural gas and other options, they haven’t been deployed, he said.