By Urging Action on Climate Change, Kerry Ruffles Feathers in India

At the beginning of a two-day trip to India, the world's third largest emitter of carbon dioxide, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made solving climate change a focus of his public remarks. The U.S.'s own failures elicited skepticism from locals.
June 24, 2013, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in India over the weekend and gave a speech urging the fast-developing country to work closely with the U.S. and other countries on solutions to climate change," writes John Upton. "The Americans’ arrival in Delhi coincided with deadly floods in northern India that some Indian officials have linked to global warming."

"But though climate change poses urgent dangers in India, Kerry’s speech was not received warmly by all of the nation’s environmentalists. Some felt they were being lectured to by the secretary of state, a representative of a nation that is second only to China in total greenhouse gas emissions."

"Chandra Bhushan, a senior official at the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment, was unimpressed by Kerry’s speech, as he explained in an opinion piece in Down to Earth, a leading Indian environmental magazine published by his nonprofit:

I have no problems with [Kerry's] pitch for countries coming together to develop renewable energy. But I have issues with the fact that nowhere in his speech did he mention what the US is doing on renewable energy or what is the renewable energy target that the US has set for itself for, say 2020. The fact is that today close to 20 per cent of India’s electricity supply is from renewable sources (including hydropower). India has set itself a target for renewable energy; the US has not.


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Published on Monday, June 24, 2013 in Grist
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