The United States of America is one of the most vociferous world powers when it comes to pressing issues like global warming. Even though the country has been rather active in trying to get leading world polluters like China to cut down their greenhouse gas emissions, it appears that the country likes to coyly forget that it remains the biggest polluter in the world itself. But that isn’t stopping U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to remind emerging economies like India that they need to do something global warming ASAP.
Kerry is visiting India as a part of this two week trip through Asia and the Middle East and he insisted that India needed to step up its efforts in combating climate change during his speech in New Delhi. Of course, political analysts in India are taking Kerry’s speech with a grain of salt as the agenda hidden behind the “climate change” speech could not have been more obvious. As of now, a large chunk of India’s power is supplied via its indigenous hydroelectric plants and coal based power plants. While the hydroelectric power is relatively clean, it still has immense environmental impact. But the biggest pollution challenge for India remains reducing its dependence on coal-fueled power plants.
The US wants India to reduce its coal-generated electricity and instead consider getting a major chunk of its energy from a new gas pipeline that would run from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan and into India. While there is nothing wrong with the idea in theory, in practice, we all know that this would only help in increasing the US influence in the region. The pipeline, if it is built, would provide competition to the existing gas pipeline emerging out of Iran and allowing the US to exert pressure over Iran through India. By providing “protection” to the pipeline in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, the US would be able to dictate terms to India.
Also, Kerry failed to mention anything in his speech about a plan to reduce the per capita CO2 emissions in their own country. At the moment, the US boasts of only 4 percent of the world’s population though the country is responsible for 25% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions today. On average, the US households account for over 6 times as much CO2 emissions as the remainder of the world annually.