Improve climate change data and its analysis: PM

By Fakir Balaji, IANS

Visakhapatnam : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday called upon scientists, especially meteorologists, to improve the quality of data and its analysis on climate change in the wake of worldwide concern over global warming.

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“Experts should improve the quality of data they collect and analysis of the available data, especially with regard to climate change,” Manmohan Singh said.

“For instance, there is a need to collect data on what is happening to the Himalayan glaciers and not just on our side of the border but on the system as a whole,” the PM told delegates in his inaugural address of the 95th Indian Science Congress (ISC) here.

Referring to the focal theme of the ISC and approach towards a knowledge-based society that was environmentally sustainable, Singh said the concern over climate change was based on painstaking statistical work though its basis was weak and more theoretical.

“Climate change poses a great challenge to our development prospects as well as the livelihood of our people. We need a global response, a national response and a local response,” Singh asserted.

In addressing the challenge of climate change, the prime minister asserted India would not replicate the western model of wasteful consumption and environmentally harmful industrialisation.

In this context, Singh quoted Mahatma Gandhi’s famous dictum that “our planet has enough to cater to all our needs but not enough to cater to our greed”.

Calling upon the research and development community to contribute to the global debate on climate change, Singh said he had directed the Planning Commission to come up with alternative options.

The Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change is engaged in developing India’s response to the challenge. Similarly, an expert committee under scientific advisor to the government R. Chidambaram has come forward with a research agenda to study the impact of climate change in the sub-continent.

“We will invest in and strengthen the infrastructure required to develop scientific capability in this new area. We are in the process of identifying a centre of national excellence on climate change,” the prime minister added.