NEW DELHI: Swiss President Doris Leuthard today stressed the need for the industrialised and developed nations to do more to tackle climate change. Referring to the devastating rains that pounded Mumbai on Wednesday, Leuthard said climate change was a slow process and was talked about only when tragedies occur. The Swiss president also emphasised on investing in new technologies that could lead to solutions in stabilising the situation. Her remarks that the industrialised and developed nations should take more responsibility to deal with climate change assume significance in view of the US pulling out of the Paris climate deal. “We have only one planet and (in view of) the increase in the temperature worldwide, we should have 2.8 planets. We must act very fast and do more to come from 2.8 planets to one planet,” Leuthard, who is on a four-day India visit, said. She was addressing students at an event on ‘Energy Policy and Climate Change’ organised by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) here.
“We in Europe, in industrialised countries, probably (need to do) more than India. It is our duty to do that and we can do that,” she said, adding that 60 countries who have ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change roughly have 85 years to “change the minds of people, industrial processes and policies”.
She also urged the younger generation not to “repeat the mistakes made by the industrial world” and work on technologies that can have long-term and sustainable solutions to deal with climate change. Responding to a question by a student on India’s energy goals with a thrust to generate electricity from renewable sources of energy, the Swiss president emphasised on manufacturing in India the equipment meant for generating solar energy. On power generation in her country, Leutard said Switzerland stopped using coal in the 1960s and moved to nuclear energy. She, however, said the cost of building new nuclear power plants has risen exponentially and so has the concern of storing the waste generated from these plants. Switzerland has, therefore, stopped building new atomic power plants, the Swiss president added.