Arvind Subramanian, who recently resigned as India’s chief economic adviser, said countries also need to actively consider carbon capture and storage techniques and put in more efforts for its utilization
New Delhi: Former chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian said that India and other South Asian countries should always be wary of the carbon imperialism of the West.
However, he also lauded India’s commitment to fight climate change by pushing for renewables.
Subramanian was speaking at the launch of the World Bank report on the impact of changes in precipitation and temperature on the living standards in South Asian countries on Monday.
“I do not like the term de-carbonization, There are talks of abandoning coal, and organizations saying, we will not finance coal projects…even the World Bank. But, the bigger question is how we do make our endowments like coal, greener and cleaner. We need a concerted effort to reconcile climate change, renewable, development and fossil fuels. We should think how much we should subsidise renewable. We need to get the social cost of carbon right,” he said.
Subramanian, who recently resigned as India’s chief economic adviser, said countries also need to actively consider carbon capture and storage techniques and put in more efforts for its utilization.
Discussing the impact of climate change on India, where the total share of irrigated agricultural land is less than 50%, Subramanian said there was urgent need to bring more land under irrigation.
“Previous analysis has shown that impact on temperature and weather changes was much more severe for un-irrigated areas. Therefore, we need to bring more of India under irrigation, not only to boost agricultural productivity, but to make it less vulnerable to climate change.”
He also cautioned against the problem of water-stress due to climate change. “There is a need for effective use of water, keeping climate change in mind. May be, we also need to re-look at the subsidies on water and power.”
Subramanian also batted for strengthening co-operative federalism, which was key during the implementation of the goods and services tax. “We need to extend it to other sectors, and climate change and agriculture are two such important areas. Since, most of the issues related to climate change, water and agriculture are state subjects, we need to get the state and Centre to work together on this to tackle the challenge.”