Energy Use On the Rise in India

<p>In certain isolated pockets of India, energy use is skyrocketing. But because the country's per capita use remains low, there is little movement to curb usage in new highly-energetic cities.</p>
March 3, 2008, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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"A beacon of India's red-hot economy, this new suburb on the edge of the capital, New Delhi, is also a symbol of India's fast-growing hunger for energy. By the government's own estimates, energy consumption in this country of 1.1 billion is expected to quadruple over the next 25 years, inevitably expanding India's emissions of greenhouse gases."

"Almost half of India's population has no access to the electricity grid, and many more people suffer hours without power. Nearly 700,000 Indians rely on animal waste and firewood as fuel for cooking. As a result, India's per capita carbon footprint remains a small fraction of that of the industrialized world - the average American produces 16 times the emissions of the average Indian - and in turn empowers the central Indian argument for its right to consume more, not less, energy in the future."

"India has consistently bucked pressures to set targets for reducing emissions, arguing that it has neither been a significant polluter nor yet able to spread modern energy to millions of its poor. Instead, it has pledged to ensure that its per capita emissions never exceed those of the developed world."

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Published on Sunday, March 2, 2008 in The New York Times
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