Future lies in innovation not regulation: Friedman

There are only two giant soft shell turtles in the world today — one aged 8 years and the other aged 100 — kept captive in a zoo in China....

Written by Neha Sinha | New Delhi | Published: February 7, 2009 11:29:21 pm

There are only two giant soft shell turtles in the world today — one aged 8 years and the other aged 100 — kept captive in a zoo in China. The zookeepers are trying to get the two to mate,and it’s hard. We have to be the Noah to make sure this couple is saved. We are faced by immense biodiversity loss as we have actually underestimated what Al Gore has to say on climate change,” said Thomas Friedman,eminent intellectual and foreign affairs columnist with The New York Times.

He was speaking at the “Delhi Sustainable Development Summit” organised by The Energy and Resources Institute on Friday. Friedman said he wasn’t “placing his bets on the United Nations Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen later this year,as the future lay not in regulations but innovation”.

Friedman recently released a book,Hot Flat,and Crowded,which speaks about the pressures on the world today. “America has lost its groove as a world leader and an innovator. There was a Daimler ad in South Africa which advertised the car as ‘German Engineering,Swiss Innovation,American Nothing’. I have an alternative to Copenhagen. The alternative is innovation. The industry of the future is not Information Technology but Energy Technology,which produces clean,reliable energy. The country which has ET is the country that is set to lead the world,” he said.

“To mitigate climate change,you need to put a certain price on polluting industries like coal,aluminium,steel and automobiles. But the global recession will make it hard to do so,” said Carlos Pascaul,vice-president and director of foreign policy,Brookings Institution Press,USA.

Former UN secretary general and Nobel Laureate Kofi Annan said,“I believe it will be very helpful if the countries that will meet in Copenhagen meet before the summit to find a solution. This is because there is certainly a common understanding that is necessary to combat climate change and there is a cost to that.”

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