Individuals can reduce India’s carbon footprint


Individuals can help in lowering India’s carbon footprint through lifestyle choices and contribute significantly to the country’s response to the climate change challenge, said Jairam Ramesh, MP, Rajya Sabha, and Senior Visiting Fellow, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, at a public lecture on “Climate Change and India’s Energy Policy” in Bengaluru on November 10, 2014. The event was organised jointly by The Hindu Centre and the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) on November 10, 2014, and focused on the policy options before India both domestically and internationally.


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Column: Big breakthrough in Beijing

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have just signed a historic bilateral accord on climate change and clean energy cooperation in Beijing. This accord will have impacts in the run-up to the Paris Conference in December 2015 when the world community is expected to clinch a new agreement to combat global warming. The agreement was in the works no doubt, but it certainly came sooner than expected. Another agreement on trade in technology-intensive industries has been signed and this has great relevance for the World Trade Organization (WTO). With these two accords, the U.S. and China have signalled that they will influence multilateral outcomes through their bilateral agreements.

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This column was first published on November 13, 2014 at:



Column: Rapid, inclusive and sustainable

There has been a persistent demand to make the environment business-friendly. But very few have talked about the need to make business environment-friendly. The two must go hand-in-hand.

This is the only way to make rapid economic growth inclusive and sustainable as well. It is somewhat ironic that Indian companies will accept tough environmental conditions for their projects in countries like Australia but get very agitated when similar conditions are imposed on their projects at home.

Most public hearings mandated under the law are a sham: where there are hearings, there is no public and where there is public, there are no hearings. The environmental impact assessments also mandated by law are done very casually and are seen as a mere formality to be complied with. This is why, barring a few exceptions, the environmental track record of Indian enterprise—both in the public and private sector—has been very poor. Laws have been flouted with impunity and the culprits—like those companies discharging untreated effluents into water bodies and rivers —have got away with it.

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This column was first published on November 10, 2014 at:


Column: समावेशी विकास की कुंजी

विदेशों में रह रहे लोगों से भारत को भारी मात्रा में विदेशी मुद्रा हासिल होती है। वर्ष 2013-14 में इस तरह से भारत को कुल 70 अरब डॉलर की राशि प्राप्त हुई जो हमारी जीडीपी का करीब 3.5 फीसद है। इस तरह देश में आई कुल राशि में से 30 फीसद पश्चिम एशिया के देशों से तथा 30 फीसद उत्तारी अमेरिका से आई। उत्तारी अमेरिका से आने वाली राशि में हाल के वषरें में सर्वाधिक वृद्धि देखी गई है। यदि हम चीन की तुलना में देखें तो भारत में विदेशों से भेजी जाने वाली राशि एफडीआइ अथवा प्रत्यक्ष विदेशी निवेश की तुलना में सतत रूप से ऊंची बनी हुई है और भुगतान संतुलन की स्थिति को नियंत्रित रखने में इसकी महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका है। वास्तविकता यही है कि दुनिया के किसी भी…

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This column was first published on November 6, 2014 at:



Column: Unclear about nuclear?

India’s vast atomic energy infrastructure is the creation of Homi Bhabha with the full backing and participation of Jawaharlal Nehru. The Bhabha approach had its critics even in the 1950s with Meghnad Saha and D.D. Kosambi publicly voicing their differences. But there can be no doubt that this infrastructure has played a pioneering role in developing India’s scientific, engineering and technological capabilities across a wide spectrum.

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This column was first published on November 03, 2014 at:


Q&A Session with Future Earth

You are a politician with wide-ranging experience in sustainable development, commerce and media. How does your experience make you a good fit for this role?

Jairam Ramesh – I have qa-jairam-rameshspent the better part of almost three decades at the interface of policy design and implementation, and at the interface of policy implementation and communication in different areas like energy, industry, environment, climate, and development as it relates to the poorest and most marginalised sections in rural areas. I have had to build larger networks and alliances, which is what engagement is all about. Politics, Bismarck said, is the art of the possible. I believe it is so because politics is the one arena that allows for engagement with diverse viewpoints, each justified in its own sphere. It provides the space to take these sometimes…

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Column: EU’s green gambit: Pressure now on US, China and India over 2025/2030 goal

Just a few days back, leaders of the 28-country European Union (EU) announced that the EU as a whole would cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030 on 1990 levels. They also agreed to a renewable energy market share of 27% and a 27% increase in energy efficiency by 2030. The operational aspects of the three decisions have been left vague so that a consensus could be reached since countries like the UK, Poland and Portugal have been baulking. Clearly, Europe is once again sending a signal to countries like the US, China and India in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris in December 2015 when a new international agreement to curb global warming is expected to be finalised.

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This column was first published on October 27, 2014 at:


Honored to be Chair of Future Earth’s Engagement Committee

I am honoured to chair the Future Earth Engagement Committee at a time when there is growing public consciousness of the environmental challenges we face as a global community and when there is a widespread public desire for concrete actions from all governments. I hope to be able to make some contributions to bridging the gap between the world of science and the world of politics.

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Warming up to the Climate Change Challenge


India is most vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change. Because of pressing domestic realities, India needs to change its traditional mindset and provide bold new leadership to global climate change talks…

Click here to read more details about my public lecture on “Warming up to the Climate Change Challenge”, in Chennai on October 24 at an event jointly organised by The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy and the Asian College of Journalism, and focused on increasing awareness about the need for concerted policy interventions in managing the impact of climate change on India.

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Column: प्रदूषण की नई चुनौती

लंबे समय से प्रदूषण की समस्या से जूझ रहे उत्तर प्रदेश के सोनभद्र जिले में सिंगरौली क्षेत्र के लोगों के लिए अंतत: अब जाकर थोड़ी बहुत राहत मिलने की उम्मीद जगी है। यहां पर बड़ी तादाद में निजी और सार्वजनिक क्षेत्र की औद्योगिक इकाइयां तथा विद्युत पैदा करने वाले उद्योगों का समूह है। यह इलाका देश में सर्वाधिक विद्युत उत्पादन और खनन वाले क्षेत्रों में शुमार है। कुछ आकलन के अनुसार जहरीले मरकरी अथवा पारा का उत्सर्जन करने वाले देश के उद्योगों में 17 प्रतिशत उत्सर्जन केवल इस इलाके से होता है। स्थानीय आबादी को लेकर किए गए आधिकारिक और गैर-आधिकारिक, दोनों ही तरह के अध्ययनों से पता चलता है कि यहां के लोगों के खून में मरकरी का स्तर बहुत अधिक है। इसी तरह उनके बालों में भी इसका प्रभाव नजर आता है और…

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This column was first published on October 22, 2014 at:


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