The United States has once again praised India at an international platform for its growing investments in renewable technologies and tackling drought and pollution.
Speaking at the UN climate meet here on Wednesday, Kerry mentioned India thrice, highlighting its commitment on adoption of clean technologies.
“Now, significantly the renewable energy boom isn’t limited to industrialized countries, and that’s important to note. In fact, emerging economies like China, India, and Brazil invested even more in renewable technologies last year than the developed world,” he said in his 45-minute address to the media, where scientists and international delegates were also present.
Expressing concern over global climatic conditions, Kerry, who has attended every major United Nations climate change summit since 1992, said, “We have seen record-breaking droughts everywhere — from India to Brazil to the west coast of the US.”
“Storms that used to happen once every 500 years are becoming relatively normal. In recent years, an average of 22.5 million people have been displaced by extreme weather events annually. We never saw that in the 20th century,” the Secretary of State said.
Sounding an alarming note, he said there are nearly 20 million new asthma cases a year in India linked to coal-related air pollution.
“In the US, asthma costs taxpayers more than $55 billion annually. The greatest cause of children being hospitalised in the summer in the US is environmentally induced asthma,” Kerry, who also talked about his last week’s trip to Antarctica where scientists alarmed at the fast-changing climatic trends, said.
He also blamed coal-fired power plants in China for pollution.
In 2014, a study found that up to six million people in China have black lung because they lived and worked so close to coal-fired power plants, Kerry added.