Fund need-based innovation to tackle climate change, says Harish Hande

E. Kumar Sharma        Last Updated: September 15, 2014  | 20:21 IST
Harish Hande, Managing Director of solar lighting solutions company SELCO-India and a Ramon Magsaysay Award winner.

India must focus on sustainable energy and channelise funds and resources into need-based innovation if it wants to make a difference in the fight against climate change, says Harish Hande, Managing Director of solar lighting solutions company SELCO-India and a Ramon Magsaysay Award winner.

Speaking to Business Today on Monday, he said, "There is need to invest in building human resources in rural areas in the field of sustainable energy. For instance, we need to have energy technicians in rural areas. Then, there has to be focus on end-user financing. To top it all, money is needed to fund need-based innovation as against a want-based innovation."

Giving an example, he said: "We could, for instance, encourage innovations that look at the motors that run rice mills. Today, they use diesel. How can there be innovation to make motors that run efficiently on sustainable energy."

Hande was speaking in the light of a call for action given on Monday by 160 environmentalists from 44 countries. They have "called on foundations and philanthropists to use endowments worth billions of dollars to turn the tide on global warming".

This becomes important in the wake of a major climate meeting coming up this month that will reportedly be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has invited world leaders from government, finance, business and civil society to the New York Climate Summit on September 23, and has urged them to make bold commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build political momentum towards a global climate change treaty at the December 2015 Paris Climate Summit.

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