India report targets low-carbon infrastructureby Ben Roberts on Nov 18, 2010
A member of Parliament in India has released a report that seeks to assess the viability of low-carbon infrastructure projects.
Shri Suresh Prabhu, who is also chairman of the Council of Environment, Power and Water, launched ‘The India Infrastructure Report 2010: Infrastructure Development in a Low Carbon Economy’ to evaluate the legal, financial and social issues surrounding environmentally beneficial infrastructure that will complement the sub-continent’s thriving economy.
"We as a large country like India need to create infrastructure that is futuristically clean and green and will not create environmental issues for coming generations,” he said at the paper’s launch.
The IIR is a collaborative effort under the aegis of 3-i Network, a group of academics, technical and managerial experts and practitioners, managed by IDFC, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K). The paper, into its ninth year, aims to address a “central contemporary issue in infrastructure development”, according to the report’s call-for-papers tender.
India’s needs continuous infrastructure development to keep pace with its rapidly growing economy, which grew by 8.8% in the second quarter 2010, its best period since the end of 2007. But these developments have typically been carbon intensive, and the country is aiming to reduce emissions in line with pledges made by other major world economies.
Technology and finance are central to low carbon interventions, which in turn require an enabling legal, regulatory and institutional framework, said Dr Rajiv Lall, chief executive and managing director of Infrastructure Development Finance Company, the project investor.
“India is at an early stage of infrastructure development, which provides a unique opportunity to achieve a low carbon growth path as we build our infrastructure,” he said. “We have an advantage compared with other countries that are locked into 'high carbon lifestyles' and we can learn from their experiences rather than replicate their models."
Last week, the country hosted a three-day visit from US president Barack Obama, who sought to strengthen economic ties between the two countries, among a number of political issues. This followed a visit in the summer by David Cameron, Britain’s prime minister.
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