THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate ReleaseMarch 22, 2000
PRESS BRIEFING BY
IAN BOWLES, SENIOR DIRECTOR
FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS FOR THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
Aboard Air Force One
En Route To Agra, India
2:15 P.M. (L)
MR. LOCKHART: This is Ian Bowles, Senior Director for EnvironmentalAffairs for the National Security Council. He'll give you a sense of whatwe're doing after the Taj Mahal is done and we do the environmental event,and then he'll take your questions.
MR. BOWLES: Following the tour of the Taj Mahal, the President willwitness signing by Secretary Albright and Minister of External AffairsJaswant Singh of a U.S. statement on energy and environment. He will thengive remarks.
He'll announce a number of new initiatives we're undertaking withIndia on clean energy -- three AID projects, a regional energy project thatwas also announced in Bangladesh, an energy efficiency project -- twoenergy efficiency projects -- one working on the supply side of energyproduction in India; a second working on commercializing energy efficienttechnology in India -- to announce a $200 million line of credit from theEx-Im Bank for promotion of clean energy projects. He'll also announce theresumption of DOE and EPA technical assistance in India which was suspendedin 1998. He'll also make reference to a U.S. energy association and aconfederation of Indian industries joint partnership on clean energy.
In terms of the statement that Secretary Albright and Jaswant Singhwill sign, this will -- it essentially talks about environmental goals,clean energy and climate change. It includes from a climate changeperspective, a significant new tone from the Indian government, a newpartnership between the U.S. and India to work together to promote cleanenergy and address climate change, as the Indians committing to a nationalgoal of 10 percent of new power being from renewable sources by the year2012.
It commits to the government of India to energy efficiency goal of 15percent improvement in energy efficiency by the year 2007-2008, both ofwhich are pretty significant in terms of India's energy supply. It alsorecites some of the recent measures President Clinton has taken on climatechange -- his executive order on bioenergy and biofuels; his executiveorder on energy efficiency in federal buildings; and Department of Energygoals on wind power.
And essentially, I think the big picture for this is it representsreal new progress together between India and the United States, workingtogether on climate change and clean energy.
I'm glad to answer any of your questions and give you furtherbackground about climate change.
Q How much does it all cost?
MR. BOWLES: We have a fact sheet --
Q What's the total cost?
MR. BOWLES: The projects we're announcing -- $200 million from theEx-Im Bank, and then another total of $95 million from USAID, and the DOEand EPA programs are small in terms of budget. So ballpark of $300million.
Q These sanctions being lifted are relatively minor, aren't they?
MR. BOWLES: I guess I'd say this -- that Congress has given statutoryauthority for climate change programs to proceed, notwithstanding otherprovisions of the Foreign Assistance Act that would hold up otheractivities. So, essentially, lifting the sanctions on -- lifting therestrictions or policy-based restrictions that don't require presidentialaction. But essentially it's restarting EPA and DOE activities. Soessentially it's saying in the clean energy and environment area, thatwe're lifting restrictions on any further impediments to cooperation.
Q How significant is India's pollution problem and the climatechange problem?
MR. BOWLES: I don't know that I could -- I would say that India has,like the United States, significant environmental challenges. Airpollution has human health impacts, environmental impacts, economic costs.And I think they're in the process of restructuring their energy sector andimproving efficiency, things of that nature.
In terms of climate change, the U.S. is the largest emitter in thisworld of greenhouse gases, and I think India ranks somewhere between,depending on whose calculations, 5th, 6th, or 7th. But the growth inemissions from developing countries like India and China and others isgoing to be significant in the out-years. So the point of this exercise atsome level is to be moving away from kind of a business as usual trajectoryfor emissions, so in that sense, it's significant, taking steps toaddressing clean energy now.
Q Thank you.
END 2:25 P.M. (L)