Minister Dharmendra Pradhan
Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Government of India

Few countries are as important to the outlook for energy demand and climate change as is India. It uses huge amounts of coal, was projected to be one of the biggest drivers of growth in oil use, and has ambitious targets to grow both the use of renewables and natural gas. So how does the Covid-19 pandemic change that outlook - with weeks of strict lockdown measures by India’s 1.3 billion people cratering transportation activity and other energy use? The skies over normally polluted Indian cities turned clear, and more blue. Now with the economy starting to open up, what are the consequences for energy use, for carbon emissions, and for local air pollution? 

In this edition of Columbia Energy Exchange, host Jason Bordoff explores these and other questions with The Honorable Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Minister Pradhan is India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Steel. He previously served as the Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship during Prime Minister Modi’s first term. As Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, he has guided decision-making around production, supply distribution and pricing of petroleum, as well as India’s overall energy sector development. 

Transcript

[00:00:00]

Jason Bordoff:  Hello and welcome to Columbia Energy Exchange, a weekly podcast from the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. I’m Jason Bordoff.

 

Few countries are as important to the outlook for energy demand and climate change as is India. It uses huge amounts of coal, was projected to be one of the biggest drivers of growth in oil use, and has ambitious targets to grow both the use of renewables and natural gas. So how does the Covid-19 pandemic change that outlook - with weeks of strict lockdown measures by India’s 1.3 billion people cratering transportation activity and other energy use? The skies over normally polluted Indian cities turned clear, and more blue. Now with the economy starting to open up, what are the consequences for energy use, for carbon emissions, and for local air pollution?

 

To explore these and other questions, I’m honored to talk today with The Honorable Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who joined me from India via video conference. Minister Pradhan is India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Steel. He previously served as the Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship during Prime Minister Modi’s first term. As Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, he has guided decision-making around production, supply distribution and pricing of petroleum, as well as India’s overall energy sector development. Minister Pradhan, thanks for joining us today on Columbia Energy Exchange.

 

[00:01:29]

Minister Pradhan:  Thank you, thank you professor, thank you.

 

[00:01:30]

Jason Bordoff:   Let me, -- we are going to talk a lot obviously about what’s happening in the Indian oil and gas sector in the middle of this crisis.  Let me just ask you to start by sharing with our listeners, who may not be familiar, how India, as a whole is copping during this terrible pandemic.  The Prime Minister put strict lockdown measures in place about six weeks ago and now it’s starting to open things up again.  What’s the state of the virus, the state of the Indian economy?

 

[00:01:59]

Minister Pradhan:  Professor Jason, you rightly mentioned, India is going through six week lockdown period.  We are at the fifth week in comparison to other part of the globe.  Till now India is very safe, India is very stable in its management.  I think it’s due to visionary leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modiand timely decision of Government of India, we could implement the lockdown very professionally, very religiously.  We are thankful to our countrymen, we are thankful to all the citizen of India.  We all have obeyed the planning and designing of Indian Government and will appreciate India is a federal mode of governance, lot of provincial governments are there.  We are a democracy, the different political party in charge of different part of the country, leaving apart our political differences, political difference of governance model.  On this issue, India is now working as a team.

 

In the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, we are completely implementing the lockdown strategy.  You will appreciate; India has lot of challenges in comparison to developed country.  We don’t have this, that kind of advance health structure facility.  We don’t have that much of budgetary plan for the health spending.  With that kind of limitation and kind of congestion we have primarily in the urban India, in the urban area of our country, with this kind of challenge, we could manage still now very professionally. 

 

Things are under control.  It is very dynamic, everyday there is a growth, but in all the area, from the testing, from the physical infrastructure, from the primary healthcare, from the secondary healthcare, overall management, overall management and in between all these thing, Prime Minister Modi has created a balance between live and livelihood.  We have to look into both the aspect of the -- our society.  Till now, we could have managed very -- we have managed our affairs very professionally.  And we all are confident we will sail through the challenge and we will overcome the crisis.

 

[00:04:43]

Jason Bordoff:  And we -- I guess, I saw your estimates, you just -- obviously a sharp slowdown in economic growth this year, maybe one or two percent of the estimates I have seen for GDP like, so many countries in the world, the lockdown has an economic impact.  And of course, it’s having impact on the oil sector leading to this really unprecedented collapse in global oil demand, down $30 million in April this dramatic collapse in the price.  And I am wondering, how that price collapse plays out in India.  It’s interesting in the United States, where we usually celebrate more oil prices, now it raises insurance as well, because we are such a large producer.  India is a large consumer, it’s a large importer, so, isn’t oil price collapse a good thing, and a welcome thing?

 

[00:05:30]

Minister Pradhan:  Let me candid with you.  In the last G20 meeting, at the virtual G20 meeting, in the last month, I had candidly mentioned one thing, accepted one thing.  You have rightly said, being a consuming country, being a consumer, major consumer of the global energy, we should have been happy with this kind of low oil price.  But, looking into our future plan, looking into the kind of energy, security we have given to our energy justice we have to our citizen, we don’t want unreasonable price, unprofessional price.  We need the reasonable and responsible price. 

 

For that, we had welcomed the OPEC plus digital for the production, cut production balance, I can -- other – I can say the production balance, we welcome that due to good initiative of global leaders of the producing country.  They all have come together to one platform, there is a rebalance of production.  And due to this global shutdown due to impact of COVID-19, there is a demand fall everywhere in all the part of the globe.

 

So, In India, you will be astonished to know, in India, 70% of our demand has been balanced in April.  This is unheard of in our country.  With that challenge, we could run through all the refinery we had, whether it is private sector or government owned refinery, we have honored all our supply contracts, all our term contracts from our global supplier from all the part of the world we have not put any force measure; there are certain little readjustments. 

 

I am thankful to my suppliers, to my suppliers’ countries, they all have fulfilled our expectation, they all have cooperated.  So, in that way, though we have a very negligible demand in country like India, with -- you have the demand fall of 70%, you could have imagined what kind of mismanagement would have been there in the supply chain.  With that also, we have honored the supplier, we have honored -- we have continued our refinery process, we have maintained our supply chain.

 

With all this crisis – all this scenario, I am happy today, the energy stakeholder of the globe have created a consensus, we have to move forward.  Globe is entire leadership of energy, it should come -- it’s, unanimous in one point, we have to have a sustainable energy security model in the world.  So we have to come together, we have to readjust.  Everybody is cooperating.  So, India, being a major consumer, and I am confident, in future you will see, India will be the driver of global energy demand in the very near future.

 

[00:08:51]

Jason Bordoff:  So, it’s a very interesting response.  Because again, I think a lot of people would expect a large consuming and importing country like India would celebrate lower prices.  But I guess, you are saying when demand is down 70%, there’s not a lot of benefit from that and it is also creating damage to the industry and to the economy.  So, you, you mentioned a minute ago about the G20 meeting. 

 

Just so our listeners know, what you were referring to is, this kind of extraordinary meeting after the OPEC meeting, where G20 country’s energy ministers came together and agreed to cooperate in whatever way they could.  And different people can do different things to help deal with, to help stabilize markets.  Do you, do you think that something that is just, you know, one time, you know, extraordinary circumstance like this or are we going to see continued producer, consumer cooperation through the IEA, through the G20 or through something else?

 

[00:09:45]

Minister Pradhan:  Jason, they had a debate on this issue also in the special meeting.  Whether it should be one time effort, whether it should be some market ethics should be there, it should be temporary or it should be permanent.  But I am not into that debate, but I am of this opinion, in a democracy, in a free market, in an open society, we must come together, we must cooperate with each other, we must appreciate each other’s critical positions and we should cooperate and we should plan accordingly.  In, -- with this background, the G20 meeting is a very good initiative, is a very fruitful meeting and there should be this kind of initiative in future also.

 

[00:10:31]

Jason Bordoff: And I mentioned a minute ago, you know, different countries can do different things to help stabilize markets.  And so, a country like India, I guess, the tool that people were talking about was the potential to take some oil off the market by filling your strategic reserves is, can you update us on, is that something India is doing and what sorts of volumes you are thinking of?

 

[00:10:52]

Minister Pradhan:  You have rightly mentioned one thing.  India has already planned its filling of the SPR.  Now, by next few days, we will be filling up our 5.33 million metric ton capacity of SPR.  We have captured the opportunity of low oil price.  We have also, hooked our purchase around 8.5 million metric ton of oil.  We have purchased the floating oil.  We have put all this oil in the ships.  And India’s online capacity, on shore capacity of carrying crude oil and product is amounting around 25 million metric ton.  We have already filled up all this words whether it is in form of products, whether it is in form of crude oil.  Putting all together, 5.3 million metric ton, 8.5 million metric ton and 25 million metric ton, putting together, this is consisting of around 38 million metric ton of crude oil and product. 

 

This is around 20% of our -- 18% to 20% of our annual requirement.  Beyond that, India is planning the SPR Phase II, we have our cabinet sanctioned, our government has given us directions.  But the implementing SPR Phase II, we are very keen and we are very open to build up this SPR2.  In fact, I can share one good news with you, today morning when I talked to our American Ambassador at India, Mr.  Kenneth Juster, he suggested one thing American company are interested to have PPP work with India in the SPR in the PPP mode.  And I said it’s most welcome.

 

And India is aiming for a joint venture with PPP mode of mixed round of SPR and I will be more than happy if any American company, any American energy company, infrastructural company will come to India and build up the SPR Phase II.  That apart, we are also exploring in the possibility, because last few years, our energy engagement with USA has increased.  We are take, we are taking more LNG, we are taking, for the first time, when America became a net exporter of the shale oil, India is one of the first country to capture that opportunity.

 

We have some term contract of crude oil from America.  We want to put all this contract in a storage facility at America, at USA.  That proposal also, we have discussed today morning.  And India is open to enhance its SPR capacity, enhance its storage capacity within India and outside India.  And U.S.  may be a very good partner of this initiative of India in our energy engagement.

 

[00:14:04]

Jason Bordoff:  That you might think about, essentially expanding your, size of your SPR, but not with domestic infrastructure, by using some extra storage capacity that exists elsewhere, possibly in the United States, that’s what you are --

 

[00:14:17]

Minister Pradhan:  Oh, yes. Yes, both ways, we want to expand our capacity both ways, expanding our capacity at domestic market system and have some storage facility in country like America.

 

[00:14:30]

Jason Bordoff:  Interesting.  I read a report recently that India was -- what impact does this have on thinking about fuel prices, fuel subsidies or fuel taxes, I read that India was increasing fuel taxes to offset some of the last government revenue, trying to keep gasoline and diesel prices steady.  So, when oil prices are high, the tax burden might be lower, when oil prices fall, the tax burden might be higher.  Is that the approach you are taking?

 

[00:15:02]

Minister Pradhan:  You see, since last few years, we are on the continuous path of result, we have already, already come out of subsidy region from MS, from HSD, from Kerosene oil and gradually with taking opportunity of low price, we are coming out gradually from LPG.  India’s LPG subsidy basket is some billions dollar and that should -- from this month, we are confident we will get out of all kind of subsidy burden, looking into the low oil price.  We are also, not only -- we are not only taking opportunity of low oil price.

 

On a conscious decision, India believe, Prime Minister, Modi believe, if we linked our product to the market, there will be more investment, more competition, more players will come to Indian market, looking into India’s market size.  Clear practice will be there, there will be competition and there will be more players.  New business model will come, best practices will come, ultimately consumer will be going to benefit out of that.  So, not only the low oil price, India is committed to have visionary reforms and Prime Minister, Modi is on that path.

 

[00:16:25]

Jason Bordoff:  And, and you, you mentioned LPG again, just so our listeners know, you were referring the liquefied petroleum gas, cooking, cooking fuel, this has been a very important priority for the Prime Minister and for you to expand access to that.  Can you tell me sort of how, how that’s going and does this oil, and oil crisis, this pandemic, does that change, is there a risk some people will start using wood again for cooking?

 

[00:16:56]

Minister Pradhan:  We appreciate one of Prime Minister Modi’s initiative, when Prime Minister Modi, took charge of this country in 2014, there were only -- there were only 170 million of LPG consumer in the country.  And there are 300 million households in the country, roughly, I can say.  Out of this 300 million households, 170 million LPG consumers, were there in 2014.  Today, I can proudly say with tax, 280 million households are now covered with LPG connections.  Out of this 280 million household, 80 million households, the bottom of the pyramid group has given free LPG connection as a welfare scheme. 

 

Taking opportunity of low oil price, few years back, the amount of resource Prime Minister could save from the low oil price, he repaid that amount, reinvested that amount in the clean cooking fuel initiative in India.  1.5 million women are dying every year in the globe due to respiratory congestion.  In India, that number is around 0.5 million house women.  Looking into that kind of challenge, Prime Minister took this goal initiative of giving free LPG connection to the poorest of the poor household.

 

Today, at this difficult juncture, Prime Minister Modi has -- in his, in his welfare program to combat this challenge, we are spending 2 billion dollar of investment we are doing to refill, three months free refill of this 18 million consumers.  We are utilizing our energy infrastructure to extend the welfare measures of the government at this difficult juncture.  So, energy and especially LPG is a catalyst of socioeconomic development of my country.

 

[00:19:18]

Jason Bordoff:  Well, it’s a very important initiative for, for public health and, and air pollution.  You know, even before, of course COVID-19, India was perhaps the most important county in the world, maybe along with China for the future of energy demands and particularly oil demand.  Do you think that’s going to look very different after this? Is this a temporary disruption and then, in a year or two, oil demand is pretty much back to where it was -- or in terms of its, of its outlook or do you think oil demand, looking, looking out, longer term is going to be very different in India?

 

[00:19:53]

Minister Pradhan:  No, no, Jason, you will appreciate one thing in our energy strategy, we have a very ambitious and multi dimensional plan.  If you can remember rightly, in 2015, the COP21 that Prime Minister Modi, place India’s commitment, by next few decades though we are not a major pollutant country, our carbon emission is very low in comparison to other major player of major economy of the globe.  With that, that situation, with that reality, India commit himself, herself to a bigger change, bigger step forward, lead forward for the energy, controlling the carbon emission.  From April 1st of 2020, we have implemented the Euro 6 standard of transportation fuel in all the part of country.

 

In our energy basket, we have a plan to have all kind of clean energy.  India has ambitious plan to have 175 gigawatt of renewable energy and now, from this year, we have redefined our target up to 450 gigawatts.  These are new targets in renewable.  We are more focused in buying fuels.

 

[00:21:20]

Jason Bordoff:  That’s by 2030? Just to be clear, right, 450 gigawatts is by, that’s the 2030 target?

 

[00:21:27]

Minister Pradhan:  Yes, 2030 target, 2030 target.  And, and, we have, we are going for the clean coal technology, we are going for huge gas based economy.  Recently we have split city gas distribution network in 400 districts of the country out of 732 districts.  We have a spread of city gas network in these 400 districts.  So, in all the area of energy, whether it is oil, whether it is gas, whether it is bio fuels, whether it is solar, whether it is wind, whether it is coal, India has two strategies.  India will have its source multi dimensional.  It should be affordable and it must be clean.  We are giving concession for the new technology, super critical technology.  So, our energy should be sustainable, our energy should be affordable, we must have energy security.  And we must have energy justice to our people.  So, India is very ambitious in its energy strategy in future.

 

[00:22:47]

Jason Bordoff:  So, it’s a good segueway to talk about, more about natural gas, because it is an important part of the plans that India has for its energy system.  If you want to think about complementing such a large amount of renewable.  I suspect, you can tell me if this is right, there may be a sense that you will need gas in order to balance that.  India has aggressive target for 2022 and it’s, it’s, it’s pretty, I mean, it’s doing a good job, it may take an extra year or two to get there but, it’s moving -- making a lot of progress with renewable energy.  Can you talk about where the plan stands, I think, your goal is 15% natural gas in the energy mix and what the priorities are now to expand that, particularly around pipelines and infrastructure, which is been a challenge for a while?

 

[00:23:44]

Minister Pradhan:  Yes, this is a right question you have raised.  Today India, in India’s energy basket, gas is around six to seven percent.  And this is much low to the global average.  In the global average, it, globe is using around 23, 24% of the gas in the energy basket, this is the global average.  But, you will be happy to know, one of our western states, Gujarat, the native state of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, when he was provincial head of that state, Gujarat, he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he raised the energy mix in the Gujarat.  Gas was around 26%, gas is around 26%.  Till now it is 26%.  This is above the global average.  This is how we want to reenact that strategy in the PAN Indian condition.  Previously the gas infrastructure was on the western part of the, northern part of the country.

 

Now we are investing in the eastern part of the country.  There is two trunk pipelines we are building in the eastern part of country, from eastern Uttar Pradesh converging five, covering five states up to Bay of Bengal, in the eastern part of the country.  We are linking that trunk pipeline with another trunk pipeline up to the international border of Myanmar. 

 

So now, India’s gas network, gas grid will be complete with all the major trunk pipeline we will be covering from deep south to upper north, from extreme end of western part to the extreme end of eastern part.  And there will be a ring road within the country, there will be all kind of gas transportation.  We are building more energy terminals.  We are reforming our domestic E&P policy to incentivize more gas production.

 

From this month onwards, they are increasing gas production by British Petroleum and our domestic company Reliance in a big way from the east coast ...  We have our new CBN policy, we have our new compressed biogas policy.  We are adapting the SynGas technology to have SynGas from the coal.  India has abundance of thermal coal, we want to capture that opportunity, convert that opportunity using more efficient technology, SynGas technology.  So, India is ambitious, we will produce more gas and we have -- you will happy to know, we have long term contract with USA, we have long term contract with Qatar, we have long term contract with Australia, we have long term contract with Russia also for the LNG.

 

That apart, we have some investment in the global energy market, we have investment in America, we have investment in Canada, we have investment in Australia, we have investment in Mozambique.  We have an ambitious plan, we want to capture the low LNG price of the globe.  We want to produce more gas in our country.  We want to have coal bed methane, we want to have synthetic gas, we want to have compressed biogas, more pipelines, more gas, more LNG, more terminal, more CGD.  In that way, we are spending in capital, we have much more capitals, our capital spending is much more higher than few years back.  We have reformed our policy for more production and we are creating a next generation infrastructure for our citizens.  So, we are very ambitious and confident, by next few years, India will achieve the target of 15% gas mix in our energy basket.

 

[00:28:07]

Jason Bordoff:  So, let me ask about the role of LNG, liquefied natural gas in what you just said.  As you said, you have contracts with many suppliers including the United States.  And I think you would agree that sometimes you hear among people in India, some complain about the terms of those contracts, when the spot price of gas, starts to fall very low and I think, for, for, for India, one of the challenges with LNG has been, security – concerns of that security of supply and concerns about volatility in the global gas market.  So, I am wondering whether, in this -- this is a moment of great uncertainty about the economic outlook and what’s going to happen to the Indian economy, but it’s also a time of such low prices in the global LNG market.  Is this the time, you think when India will, will increase its desire to assign some long term volumes or will it continue to look to be an opportunistic buyer in the stock market?

 

[00:29:05]

Minister Pradhan:  No, no.  India, if you go by India’s contract model, some countries in the globe has a practice of depending more on the spot prices.  More on the current prices, but whether it is crude oil or whether it is LNG, in the both the energy buying, energy purchasing, India prefers long term contract, we honor long term contract.  We are having long term contract with Qatar, we are giving much more of the today’s price, much more of the today’s price. 

 

We have a long term contract with Gazprom, we have a long term contract with Gorgon at Australia and we have a long term contract with America, with USA and with this, all our market dynamic factors explain, we are honoring that and as a consuming country like India, we can’t only depend on market fluctuation, we have a stable policy plan.  Therefore, we are building LNG terminals.  We want to invest in LNG production facility in the different part of world, I have mentioned already.  So, India is not taking advantage of volatility of LNG prices.  We want to have a stable relationship with our supplying countries with our partners and we want to be going that way.

 

So, in the beginning, I have appreciated one thing of the producing country.  Though low oil price, reasonable oil price, responsible oil price is our priority.  We don’t agree with any premium kind of thing.  We don’t need any major concession also, but we need reasonable price.  We want to convince the globe, looking to our demand, looking to our growth, looking to our aspiring society.  Today we are number three energy consumer Jason.  Our per capital energy consumption is one third of the global average.  By next one decade, apart from this COVID-19 crisis, India is esteemed to be the number one energy consumer in the globe.  With this ambition, I want to assure all the stake holders.  We don’t want to be out of the short cut route, we want to be partner, we want to be mutually, we, we want to have mutual agreement with all our stake holders.  We want to have a said aspiration, producer has a priority and ambition, so do consumer have.  It has to be mutual.

 

[00:31:58]

Jason Bordoff:  Do you think we will see more long term contract signed with suppliers here in the United States?

 

[00:32:05]

Minister Pradhan:  I don’t deny.  I don’t deny, it’s a market issue.  If I, I am -- as a government, I am investing on -- my Prime Minister has given me priority to focus in the infrastructure in all this energy, because I understand one thing.  America is doing very excellent in energy.  On learning, my learning from America is infrastructure.  Here, government of India is planning to put its head in infrastructure.  Put its resource in infrastructure, rest is up to market player.  We have our policy, anybody can come, anybody can come for the gas production, anybody come from the LNG terminals, anybody can come from the CGD networks, it’s a market issue, with my demand, more, more long term contract maybe there.

 

[00:32:56]

Jason Bordoff:  I am sorry to interrupt.  What, I was going to say, one of the areas where -- I think, you would agree, India hasn’t -- made as much progress, it’s developing its own domestic natural gas resources.  You had some new discoveries starting up soon in the mid 2020s.  Do you think that’s going to start to reverse some of the years of domestic production declines?

 

[00:33:18]

Minister Pradhan:  I am confident there will be no production decline, you will appreciate, oil and gas is such a commodity.  There is, everyday there is depletion, everyday there is addition.  Looking into this balance, I am confident that India’s future gas production, it will increase, it will be double by next few years.  By next half a decade, we will be doubling our gas production, what we have today and by 2023, we will have a six, we will have a fair amount of gas production and that apart, I would like to share one thing with you.  Historically, these last few decades, due to some policy abnormality, we could not explore, we could not invest properly on explore.  With proper reform now, we are giving priority to exploration, we are giving priority to our entire 26 sediments and we are confident, with the new policy approach of more liberal exploration and production policy, more major player will come and we will give priority to them.

 

[00:34:35]

Jason Bordoff:  I want to be respectful of your time and I kept you too long but, maybe one final question.  I am curious just to ask you how do you think about the way the, the, world of energy for India, maybe different after this terrible pandemic than before, and in one particular way, you know, we are sitting here in the United States, we’re used to see in pictures of the air quality in cities like New Delhi, that is, it’s really quite terrible.  And now, we are seeing all these photos of that clean air and people can see what it’s like to, to have far less air pollution.  Of course, you don’t want to do that by putting the entire economy on hold, but do you think that the experience that people are having is going to increase the ambition of the environmental policy or climate policy or do you think actually could go the other way that, because the economy is hurting people feel like, you have to focus on growing the economy and it will need to be a bit slower and all of that stuff?

 

[00:35:36]

Minister Pradhan:  Of course, Jason, on my final remark, I can say with utmost humility.  India is not one of the pollutant country of the globe.  Simultaneously we are aspiring society, I have already mentioned.  Our energy consumption is bound to grow, we need affordable energy.  As I said, our energy consumption pattern is one third of the global practice.  We want to increase, there is a bound, there’s a bound to increase in our consumption behavior.  In that situation, we want to have sustainable energy, we want to have affordable energy and we want to have energy security to our people through all these things.  And energy is a, in our strategy, energy must accessible to the common man.  Putting all these four things, energy affordability, energy accessibility, energy sustainability and energy security, we want to give energy security to our citizen. 

 

Our energy consumption is bound to grow, we want to have a transparent policy.  There will be no major disruption with this COVID-19 events of the globe, India is going to be, all predictions are there, India is going to be the major consumer of the global energy, incremental energy growth and I am confident today, looking into our management of COVID-19, India is going to be the new destination of global investment.  In that way, our energy consumption number will be little bit more dynamic and it will be little bit more abrupt.  In that scenario, I personally feel, energy is going to be a major catalyst of our growth.  Energy is going to be a major catalyst of socioeconomic chase.  And we want to fulfill that commitment with more vigor and more responsible manner.

 

[00:37:48]

Jason Bordoff:  Thank you.  Yeah and I, I take your point that on a global basis, for something like climate change and greenhouse gas emissions certainly per capita basis, countries like the U.S., emit more than India.  I was asking more about local air pollution in particular, which is a very important concern.  And again, we are just struck over here, where we said about the different kind of photos people see and I was wondering how that might change.  If it does change the way people think about, trying to address that, which as you know, it’s not just the energy sector, that’s agriculture and other things as well.  Your Excellency, thank you so much for making time to be with us today.  You’ve been very generous with your time and so, it’s an honor to see you and to have a chance to spend time with you and hear about, hear about the situation in India.  It is for the energy uplift of the world, for climate uplift for the world, it is one of the most important countries.  So, thank you for helping us understand it a little bit better today.

 

[00:38:48]

Minister Pradhan:  Thank you, thank you professor Jason Bordoff.  And thank you for the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy.  I am thankful to all of you for organizing this beautiful conversation with you, thank you.

 

[00:39:02]

Jason Bordoff:  Thank you, Minister Pradhan and thank you to our listeners, for joining us on the Columbia Energy Exchange. For more information about the podcast, or the Center on Global Energy Policy, visit us online at energypolicy.columbia.edu or follow us at ColumbiaUEnergy. We’ll see you next week.