India, Britain to jointly tackle climate change


New Delhi : Industry organisations Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Confederation of British Industry (CBI) signed an agreement at an India-Britain CEO roundtable here Monday to work together on various initiatives on all industrial aspects of climate change.

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Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said the biggest collective emitter of greenhouse gases that lead to climate change are small and medium enterprises, who find it toughest to adopt clean technologies, and so they are the one who need maximum help.

Participating in the roundtable on climate change and corporate responsibility, Sibal pointed out that global warming was already affecting India, with lower winter rainfall for the Rabi crop in northern India this year, apart from far more serious and frequent droughts in recent years.

But “the solution is not very easy,” the minister warned, saying that India and other developing countries needed low cost technologies that would help tackle climate change, especially in the agricultural sector.

He sought the cooperation of the British industry in this and exhorted both Indian and British industry to invest more in developing renewable energy sources.

Britain’s Minister of State for Trade and Industry Digby Jones said that the UN climate change convention held in Bali, Indonesia, last month had come up with a roadmap “that gives an opportunity to every business” to participate in the fight against climate change.

Participating at the roundtable, Y.C. Deveshwar of ITC and Naina Lal Kidwai of HSBC asked the government to develop a ratings system for industries on environmental lines, which would help the industries themselves and also help banks in taking lending decisions.