Friday, April 08, 2005

The Kyoto Windfall

Indrajit Basu writes in the Asia Times on how India is taking a lead in utilizing a unique opportunity that the Kyoto protocol presents to developing countries to switch over to clean/green technologies, as well as very importantly improve efficiencies in using power. This brings to the picture one of the very important side(?) effects of a much criticized and taunted treaty. Under the Kyoto Protocol, developed nations take on the onus of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a certain amount. If each cannot meet their targets in their own home countries, they help such projects succeed in developing countries and take the credit. While India will benefit as mentioned above, the world economy as a whole will also benefit big time.

To meet the Kyoto Protocol quota requirements you need non-polluting technology. The surest way to do that is to base yourself on non-polluting fuels (read fossil fuels). This implicitly means pushing for renewable energy technologies. While the high price of oil is giving industry an impetus to shift to renewables, Kyoto is giving Govts a reason to do so.

From an Indian point of view, this is great news. Renewables technology is not military technology - or restricted in any manner. Once the killer renewables are developed, all we have to do is say yes, and some enterprising firm will ensure the appropriate and ideal technologies flow in India. All we have to do it facilitate the businesspeople. Business is such a wonderful thing after all!