Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar is consulting editor of The Economic Times. He has frequently been a consultant to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. A popular columnist and TV commentator, Swami has been called “India’s leading economic journalist” by Stephen Cohen of the Brookings Institution. “
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year old Swedish girl who lectured the United Nations on climate change, is being touted as a possible Nobel Prize winner. She believes she and her white Swedish teenage friends have to save the world from us terrible oldies who created the oil and coal industries.
She will be appalled by the plea of India’s coal secretary, Subhash Chandra Garg, that India must urgently expand its coal production from 600 million tonnes a year to a billion tonnes per year to meet basic energy needs. Yet Garg is right. Thunberg made headlines by sailing to the US in a solar-powered-ship to avoid using fuel oil. Does she have any idea of the enormous electricity used to produce the solar cells in her ship?
India is a lower middle income country. Sweden is among the richest. Despite the green sermons, Sweden’s annual per capita carbon emissions are 4.5 metric tonnes, higher than India (1.7 metric tonnes), Pakistan (0.9 metric tonnes) or Bangladesh (0.5 metric tonnes). South Asians can double their carbon emissions without matching Sweden’s prodigality. Continue Reading →