Karzai backs regional energy projects


New Delhi : Afghan President Hamid Karzai Thursday said the time has come for regional energy projects to become realities and countries should collaborate more effectively to tap renewable sources of energy.

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“Though we recognise that energy security is important for sustained growth in our region, we have made slow progress in power transfer, grid connectivity, and the construction of gas and oil pipelines. Afghanistan believes that the time has come for the much discussed regional energy projects to become realities,” said Karzai.

Addressing the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) here, Karzai said he believes that it is time that “we collaborate more effectively to tap renewable sources of energy, which our region has in abundance”.

Asking the South Asian community and the world at large to unite together to deal with the impact of climate change, Karzai said: “We have an important challenge ahead of us, and that is dealing the impact of climate change on the habitat and livelihoods of our people. Some counties in our region have become energy deficient while others have enormous untapped energy resources.”

Leonel Fernandez, president of the Dominican Republic, said: “There is much work to be done around the world in order to define and implement policies and practices that allow us to prevent the negative impact of natural disasters.”

“The world of the future should not be one of irresponsible development, at the cost of fossil fuels, uncontrolled logging and other predatory actions, but sustainable progress, through the use of renewable resources,” he said.

Raising concerns about the threat being faced by small island nation countries, Seychelles President James Alix Michel said: “For small islands climate change is a reality and its existence is felt everyday. We must act now to ensure that our islands are also the land of our children.”

“As leaders, we must be able to tell them that we have acted to save our planet. I take the opportunity to call on the developed world to use the advanced technology at their disposal to take the lead in cutting emissions. Cutting emissions will cost. But let us ensure that it is a cost that is shared. If things remain the same, the biggest cost will be borne by the poor farmer in Africa and the fishermen in our islands,” he added.