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India: growing green not impossible

From left: Associate Fellow Arne Walther, TERI Director Ajay Mathur, FNI Director Geir Hønneland and India's ambassador to Norway, Mr. Debraj Pradhan. Photo and text: Karoline Flåm/

Can climate change be mitigated and poverty alleviated at the same time, or are they simply incompatible policy objectives? Climate change negotiator, Ajay Mathur, Director General of the Energy and Resources Institute in India (TERI), visited the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) in Norway, to give a speech on green transition in developing countries.

“We have yet to see a single country that has managed to enhance its population’s living conditions without at the same time increasing the consumption of oil equivalents per capita”, Marthur says.

Mathur’s homeland is a telling example. Globally, India consumes remarkably little energy, but large part of the population is still living in poverty. If India is to raise living conditions, energy use is bound to increase. According to Marthur, India will be doubling its energy usage over the next 15 years. He presents four ways of producing more energy while lowering energy emissions.

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