The 21st century has been hailed as the "Asian Century" because of the rapid economic development of the region and the associated transformation of the global power balance. At the same time, however, concerns are being voiced about the environmental impacts of Asia's economic rise, particularly in the context of climate change, as well as availability of petroleum and other natural resources.
Do we need to strike a balance between development and ecological conservation? Dasgupta maintains that development is not only compatible with protection of the environment but is a prerequisite for its attainment. Nowhere is this more important than in the case of climate change. Poorer countries will remain powerless to adapt to climate change if they fail to achieve and maintain rapid economic and social development. Science will provide substitutes to compensate for depletion of hydrocarbon resources, thereby also reducing carbon emissions. Only by harnessing development can we protect and enhance the environment.
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Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, Member, Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change; Member, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Geneva; Distinguished Fellow, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi
- Wednesday, 30 March 2011
- 5.15 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.
Seminar Room 3-5
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road