January 25, 2015 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Washington, USA: EcoSikh, a Washington based group, is appealing to President Obama to reach a deal on climate with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which would set goals for reducing carbon emissions by a certain percentage over time.
Dr. Rajwant Singh, President of EcoSikh, said, “We feel that meeting and agreement between these two leaders can be game changer on climate. Entire world is looking for leadership from US and India. India’s participation in changing the future of Earth’s environment is critical one. We appeal to both leaders to display their creative spirit in making decisions on global warming. Climate should be on the top of the agenda as these countries are coming together for cooperation on many fronts.”
Dr. Singh further added, “As Indian government is looking to boost toxic coal production in India as energy needs of the country is increasing with development. President Obama should use this opportunity to set concrete goals to reduce carbon emission in India. We had welcomed US China November 2014 landmark decision for coordinated effort to curb GHG emissions. An agreement between the U.S. and India would also mean that the three largest producers of GHGs were committed to combatting climate change and that is a great news for the entire world.”
EcoSikh has been part of the discussions with the White House and Department of Energy on climate change issues. It also took part in the consultations led by John Podesta, Obama point man on climate. Podesta is also accompanying Obama to India.
EcoSikh’s EcoAmritsar Program chair, Gunbir Singh stated “a recent report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) cited Mumbai and Kolkata as most vulnerable to climate change. A discussion of reducing greenhouse gases between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi would not only be timely, but life-saving,”
With India’s booming technological sectors, developing innovative methods to curb carbon emissions should be a priority for the Modi government. “The government of India should refocus its priorities to research and development of new technologies to replace the traditional coal-burning sources many Indians are reliant on,” said EcoSikh Program Manager Sumeet Kaur. “The US leadership can transfer technologies and knowledge to facilitate India’s effort to produce energy from nuclear, wind, solar and other sources,” Kaur said.
Other areas of coordination include working toward clean air and better public health. “India is in a water crisis and this trend will not end soon,” said Ravneet Singh, EcoSikh Program Manager in India. “The U.S. and India need to take a holistic approach to address the country’s environmental issues. We hope that President Obama will spearhead conservation and reduction efforts in cooperation with Prime Minister Modi,” Singh said.
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