Washington, Feb 22: US President Barack Obama today supported India's massive energy needs necessary for its economic growth to address the challenges of poverty, while stressing on the need to pass on clean coal technologies to fight climate change.
"In order to grow the economy, we have got to have energy. In fact, there are countries like India where it is even more desperate," Obama said in his address to the Democratic Governors at the White House.
"They (Indians) do not have electricity," he said, adding that India needs access to energy in order to develop. "And if we are not giving them options, if the only message we have for them is, 'Stay poor,' the we are not going to solve the problem," Obama said.
Observing that this is not an either/or issue, Obama said: "We have got to grow the economy, which means we have got to produce energy and we've got to deal with climate change. "The good news is that technology and research and development are accelerating rapidly, and because of the Paris agreement this would be going to accelerate progress even more," he said.
In his speech, Obama stressed the need of passing on the clean coal technologies to countries like India. "I want India and China to know how to use clean coal, because they're going to be building coal plants anyway. And if we've got technology that can help make sure that it is not emitting huge amounts of carbon, all the better," Obama said.
After coming into office, Obama said his administration has invested in technologies to capture carbon from coal-fired plants. "The technologies are there, the problem is that they're just really expensive right now. And so given relative prices to natural gas and other options, they haven't been deployed," he said.