A worried India takes steps toward national climate plan

India — home to more than a billion people and a fast-expanding economy — is taking its first steps toward a climate-change plan. On Friday, at the kick-off meeting of the National Council on Climate Change, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave a preview of a “Green India” strategy that will call for planting trees on 15 million acres of denuded land. He emphasized the importance of planning for energy efficiency and sustainable development and of helping the country’s citizens cope with the effects of global warming, including melting Himalayan glaciers. He did not, however, talk about actual targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. A draft of the government’s climate policy should be completed in October, ahead of a U.N. climate meeting to be held in Bali in December — and that’s none too soon for many Indians, who were found in a recent international poll to be more concerned about climate change than the citizens of any other nation, and more optimistic about finding solutions.