Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China, Jennifer Turner, director of China Environment Forum at Woodrow Wilson Center and manager, Global Choke Point Initiative, said that India and China need to strike up a dialogue on common problems such as air pollution, water pollution and wastage of water. She was speaking at a seminar on 'Global Choke Point: Water-Energy-Food Confrontations in China, US and India' organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.
Turner said, "This (air pollution) is a common challenge both the countries are facing and because China is developing so fast they are in front of you in terms of energy development and the problems that are created. And now they have done lots of engagement with researchers, international NGOs to address these problems so they are starting to turn. Why can't India and China learn from each other because their challenges are so similar."
Turner feels adding a dialogue could become important for negotiations during the forthcoming 21st Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris. She said, "Children in both countries have common lung function indicating poor lung health. Air pollution is linked to health and this could be a talking point for the countries."
Discussing the 'Choke Point' project, a multimedia and convening initiative uncovering how energy is impacting water in China, US and now India, Turner said, "India has to get its policies right for the success of its renewable energy sector. They (China) have got a lot of the policies right but there is still the pollution because of the electricity. You have the goal of 100 gigawatts of renewables. I do not know if India has the policy in place to make that happen."
In addition, the environment expert also drew attention to water pollution and wastage of water. She said, "China and US are going with the renewable power driven closed loop waste water treatment (a zero discharge method) big time. India can also look into that. In order to upscale and make such innovations affordable, policies have to be given correct incentives."