Saturday, 18 July 2009

Jugaad Part 2: Clinton in India

After all that talk of mobile phones and business models and meeting needs in my last post, I wake up this morning to read:

'Ms. Clinton hoped that India would leapfrog the dirty technologies that are leading to climate change "just as it has leapfrogged from having few phones to now having more than 500 million, mostly cellphones." '

I'm wondering how the Indian government is going to argue with that. Especially when innovative 'jugaad-like' business models have already been used to spread solar electricity through (hitherto unelectrified) tracts of rural India (FT reprint).

That isn't to say the Indian government's arguments on climate change are entirely without merit - it's just that they'll have to adjust their position now, especially if, as the article says:

'She said they would have "more intense discussions" on the subject with Indian officials in "both public and private sectors" during her trip that will take her to New Delhi Sunday [emphasis added]'.

I wonder what's up. I can see, however, that Hillary Clinton is well informed.

Update, July 20: It seems that the Indian government did argue with it. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh (an MIT Tech Pol grad, by the way - so he's a sort of distant cousin of ours) says that New Delhi "is "simply not in a position" to sign up to enforceable emissions targets, even while the Indian government is committed to fighting climate change.

I think this last deserves a separate post (which I'll try and do later) - there's more to this than is immediately obvious, I think.

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