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The Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) in Bombay is to undertake a pilot study to evolve an environmentally sound strategy for the development of Maharashtra's energy sector. The study will be carried out in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme Collaborating Centre on Energy and Environment (UNEP-CCEE) in Denmark. Two senior officials of the Danish centre, Gordon Mackenzie and Pramod Deo, recently visited IGIDR to discuss arrangements for the study. "After gaining experience here, similar studies will be conducted in 10 other major developing countries," says Deo, who is a senior energy economist.
The focus of the study will be energy supply sectors including power, coal, oil and gas, which are usually responsible for high levels of pollution. The experts will also look into various options for reducing energy consumption. The financial, organisational and policy measures found feasible in the study will form the basis of an environmental action plan, explains Deo.
Significantly, UNEP-CCEE has played a major role in many environmental programmes. After the Earth summit, it was assigned the responsibility of helping developing countries set their environmental priorities, reveals Mackenzie, a senior planner. But developing countries must decide themselves the level at which they want to deal with the global problem of environment, he says and adds, "Essentially, that will have to be a political decision."