We care about climate change. But the fact is that we are a country where energy access is as much challenging as climate change. WE need to make sure that every indian has access to energy.
What i understand there are 300 million without power here. That equivalent to the entire population of united states.
About 30 % house hold in india are yet to have access to energy. If you want to provide electricity to everybody, we have to ensure that our electricity is affordable. India has a vast reservoir of coal. We are probably the 3rd or 4th largest reservoir of coal in the world. Coal is cheap weather you or I like it or not. You have to think about it from this point of view.
If you created the problem in the past we will create it in the future. We have 700 million households who cook using biomass today. If those households move through coral, you have that much of use of fossil fuel. Then the entire world is fried. Everyone often tells you, while the world is pushing toward solar energy, why do they have to make the mistakes that we have made? I hear this all the time from american NGOs. And Im like, wow.. I mean, if it was that easy i would have really like US to move towards solar, but you havent. Lets put on money where are mouth is.
We have to practice what we pledge. Absolutely.
Im sorry to say this, I know youre american, please dont take this wrong way, but your consumption is gonna really put a hole in the planet. And I think thats the conversation we need to have.
Electricity consumed by one american at home is equivalent to 34 citizens of india. WHY? Because youre building bigger, youre building more, and using much more than before. The fact is we need to put the issue of lifestyle and consumption at the ceneter of climate negotiation.
Theres no way i dont agree with you, how can I argue that, your absolutely correct. And I think yes, its a very difficult argument to present to americans that we need to change our lifestyle and i would also argue that ist probably not gonna happen. So we are dependent if we want to solve the climate crises. On the fact that hopefully renewables like solar and wind will become cheaper the more money we found into it more we invest into them, and ultimately we will solve that problem.
Who will invest? Lets be real about this, who will invest and how will you invest in it? We are doing more investment into solar today, china is doing much more investment in the solar today than the US. What is the US doing which the rest of the world can learn from? Youre a fossil addicted country, but if you are seriously disengaging, its something for us to learn from. And it will leadership that we can all hold up to our government and say, listen if the us can do it, and us is doing it, despite all the pressures and we can do it. The sad part is, its just not happening now.
NDTV: But to my question, how the inequality debate persists, any climate change protocol, we have seen this in Peru in 2014, it may happen in Paris when the world collects to try an agree to a new consensus, how do you respond to the perception in developing countries, hey you guys have got your industrialisation, you guys are developed, now you want us to bear equal burden when the burden should be yours?
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Al Gore: No one is saying bear any burden, the West, or put it another way, the wealthier countries, have long since come to groups, with underlying principles of justice, and have applied to any kind of global undertaking like that to solve the climate crisis. But at the same time if you take all of the developing countries as a group, their global warming pollution is more than the wealthy countries as a group and all of the growth is in the developing countries. So having robust economic growth on a sustainable basis is the absolute right, nobody quarrels with it whatsoever, but avoiding the kinds of mistakes that were made in the past, by the countries that developed at an early historical time, is in everyone's best interest.
NDTV: How do you get past the rich poor dynamics in this debate? For example I read somewhere that you spoke about the damage caused by kerosene stoves in India, in terms of generating pollution, now these are really used by our poorer people, so it's very difficult for political establishments, for people to care about issues such as pollution when they are struggling to make two ends meet. So how do you get around that?
Al Gore: Well here again technology can help us find good solutions to that problem, Indians engineers and scientists have developed stoves that are far more efficient, cheaper for the householders to use, that generate not only less global warming pollution, but less indoor air pollution and are associated with fewer hospitalisations, fewer deaths and diseases from the air pollution that is inside the homes, you know yourself what serious problem that is in India. So in my country, as yours, old patter and traditional customs take time to change. Everyone understands that, but again if you can save money and be healthier at the same time, to give children a better opportunity to study at night time hours without the fumes going into their lungs, then over time people say of course that's better, let's do it the new way.