NEW DELHI: Advanced developing countries like India can take the lead in addressing climate change, the high priest of environmental activism and Nobel laureate Al Gore said on Saturday.
Hinting that his message may not necessarily echo that of the Indian government, he said, "The correct response to the climate crisis is not a comparison between some level of pollution that has been achieved by other countries a long time ago with dirty technologies but rather what can be achieved in the 21st century with efficient technologies."
The Indian standpoint has been that countries like the US, which continue to pollute the planet at levels 20 times higher than India, should act first before pushing developing nations to take action. However, Gore said, "India is highly vulnerable to the climate change crisis. In league with other nations, India can help be a part of the solution."
But the consummate politician was careful to avoid being wrong-footed. "People in developing nations have a right to aspire to a higher standard of living... right to set up whatever goals they think are appropriate. In any case, the correct comparison is between the future we want and the future we shall have unless we take the right path."
India leads in information technology and other fields and can do so in renewable energy and other clean tech as well, he pointed out.
On a two-day trip, Gore is keen to set up a base in India. The man who contentiously lost the US presidential election but captured a global audience with his documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth', launched the Indian chapter of his NGO 'Climate Project' along with TERI and JSW Foundation.