Democracy and Climate Change

Here’s some elegant prose on the hopes that rest on the Obama Administration to come from R.K. Pachauri, director general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Dehli and Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the UN body that seeks and sells scientific consensus on climate science and policy. In a statement released yesterday Pachauri elegantly explains why the election is a cause for optimism:

The presidential elections in the US have vindicated the power of democracy as the most responsive form of government of the people, by the people and for the people. In respect of policies related to climate change, there was obviously a major divergence between the position of the Federal Government and that of the people at large, state governments and the cities in the US.

President-elect Barack Obama has not only been very clear in emphasizing the need for the US to engage in global solutions to meet the challenge of climate change but also in respect of bringing about a major shift in US energy policy.

The US now has a unique opportunity to assume leadership in meeting the threat of climate change, and it would help greatly if the new President were to announce a coherent and forward looking policy soon after he takes office. There is every reason to believe that President Obama will actually do so. This should please people across the globe, because US leadership is critical for mounting global efforts to meet this threat effectively. For this reason itself, apart from several others, the election of Mr Obama is a development that should generate optimism all-round.

Pachauri’s statement was forwarded to members of the Society of Environmental Journalists by Arul Louis, a fellow at the International Center for Journalists in Washington, DC.

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This post was created for EnergywiseIEEE Spectrum’s blog on green power, cars and climate

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