India’s Prime Minister Asks Developed Nations to Use Less Energy and Water

From The New York Times

By John Upton

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday called on developed nations to strive for gains in energy efficiency and to reduce their environmental impact to help protect the world’s poor from a growing paucity of electricity and water.

“There are genuine concerns that in an unequal world, scarcity of resources would affect the poor more adversely,” Mr. Singh said at the inaugural session of the three-day Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, an annual international conference. “Key resources will become accessible only to a small selection of people on the planet, leading to the exclusion of a large number of people who live in poverty and persistent deprivation.”

In India, an estimated 30 percent of people lived in poverty in 2010, according to the World Bank. That was down from the World Bank’s estimate of 37 percent in 2005.

Mr. Singh said India was committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions per rupee of gross domestic product by at least 20 percent between 2005 and 2020.

“We in India are fully conscious of the need to conserve our resources for their utilization in a truly sustainable manner,” Mr. Singh said.

But if developed countries fail to adhere to environmental agreements struck in Kyoto and other cities in recent decades, Mr. Singh warned that it “will be difficult to persuade governments, industry and the general public in India and other developing countries to step up the pace at which they are moving on this front.”

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