Laying out ways to tackle climate change problems, R K Pachauri said that neither adaptation nor mitigation alone, but adoption of both will help in handling challenges posed by climate change, and added that if people enforce environment conservation as an election agenda, then politicians will take up the issue of climate problem.
Pachauri, director general, The Energy Research Institute (TERI) was speaking at a lecture titled ‘Dealing with Challenge of Climate Change and Sustainable Development’ organised by the Centre of Gandhian Economic Thought, University of Hyderabad (UoH) in the University premises on Friday.
He observed that often most disadvantaged people suffer because of environmental degradation though they contribute little to the problem and added that natural disasters will claim more lives in developing countries than developed countries.
Addressing students and staff of UoH, Padma Vibhushan recipient, Pachauri informed that mitigation of climate change will have co-benefits like higher energy security due to the use of renewable energy sources and stressed that educational institutions have great power in bringing about changes in thinking and finding new paradigms of growth which will be useful not only for this generation but also for coming generations.
Pachauri pointed out that climate change will have a major impact on human health, where diseases are going to last for a long time. Increase in malnutrition cases and death-causing diseases can be observed. He further stated that half a billion people depending on glacial melt for water supply will be affected as rapid melting of glaciers results in flow of rivers which leads to a water resource problem and added that an increase in sea level to 17 cm indicates the threat to stable and sustainable existence.
When asked about degree of implementation of environmental rules in India, Pachauri said “India has good national action plan for environment, however I have questions about its implementation. In several parts of the country, established rules are not being implemented properly. We need more rigorous ways of implementation”.
Regarding the minimal use of technology for sustainable development like hybrid cars in India, he said that it needs huge infrastructure, network and export market for implementation of those technologies. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, vice-chancellor of UoH, Aloka Parasher Sen, dean, School of Social Sciences were also present at the lecture.