India needs to be forthright in its stand on climate change: Sachs

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (UNI) Prof Jeffrey D Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute, United States, says that India needs to be more forthright and pro-active in its stand on climate change, by being an active partner in world wide efforts at evolving a global Framework Convention to protect the planet.

"The international perception is that India's stand is one of denial rather than being a partner in global efforts at climate change. While India's position and efforts may be different, the global image of India would entail that it spells out its policy in this regard more clearly and loudly," Prof Sachs said in an interaction with select media persons.

Others who participated in the interactive event included TERI Director General R K Pachauri, distinguished Fellow at TERI and member of Prime Minister's panel on climate change C Dasgupta and Executive Secretary UN Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) Yvo de Boer.

Dr Sachs, who is also Special Secretary to the Secretary General of the United Nations, however, acknowledged that India's attempt at evolving a national plan and the setting up of the Prime Minister's panel on climate change reflected seriousness on its part to take the problem head on.

"But a few speeches here and there do not convince the global community. It's position needs to be stated clearly in different international fora", he said.

Dr Sachs, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University, described the National Rural Health Mission(NHRM) as a formidable programme, which needs to be taken to a higher plank. "Instead of doing the usual stuff it needs to be put on a higher trajectory and replicated on a wider scale," he said.

Prof Sachs said he had a meeting with top government officials yesterday where he gave his ideas on how to make the health programme more effective. He said efforts were being made to select a village which will serve as a role model for other villages for implementing the NHRM.

Prof Sachs said India needs to have clean coal technologies, make bigger efforts at solving the problem of water it faces and 'climate clustering,' that is, insulating itself against the vagaries of frequent floods, droughts and other calamities.

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