Gogi-Stern takes up climate change

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Guwahati, Apr 1 (UNI) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi took up issues of climate change with economist Lord Nicholas Stern, urging his officials to take up the issue seriously as Assam is one of the critical components of the North East's very sensitive eco-systems.

''Environment and development can go together if one takes care of the other. Economics sans environmental concern is bad economics,'' said noted economist and environmentalist of UK Lord Nicholas Herbert Stern at the luncheon hosted in his honour by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at his official residence at Khanapara here.

Speaking to a gathering comprising environmentalists, forest officials, academicians and others, Lord Stern said, ''Economics will be better off if it takes into account environmental issues and concerns.'' Describing climate change as an economic externality, Lord Stern said, ''Addressing this issue should allow market forces to develop low carbon technologies. Now this is the best economic choice. The ethics of the issue cannot be ignored or even separated.'' Attributing the climate change to carbondioxide emissions in the air, Lord Stern said, ''Things have come to such a pass due to emissions caused by the rich countries in the past 150 years on account of which poor countries have been made to suffer.'' He underscored the need to adopt to climate change by going in for low carbon emission technologies. In this context, Lord Stern asked the advanced countries to come up with funds and technology to meet the challenges ahead.

Disclosing his fruitful discussions with the Prime Minister and his colleagues yesterday at New Delhi, Lord Stern said, ''I greatly appreciate their concern for the environment and clear views and I am confident that India will take the lead on environment related issues pertaining to climate change in the days ahead.'' Equally appreciating the efforts of the Chief Minister for leading from the front to usher in development without causing harm to the environment, Lord Stern said, ''I must appreciate the efforts of the chief minister for giving environmental issues more importance and carrying on development without causing ecological imbalance. I want to send the message loud and clear to the rest of the world that Assam is a state upholding the ethics of the issues that economics and environment can go hand in hand.'' Speaking on the occasion, Mr Gogoi, while appreciating the commendable efforts of Lord Stern in creating awareness on climate change, said, ''He visualized the adverse effects of climate change long time back what the world is seeing today.'' The chief minister said that Assam is also concerned about climate change taking place and wants sustained economic development by making judicious use of its natural resources without causing disturbance to the ecological balance.

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