Talk show host David Letterman’s much awaited episode in Years of Living Dangerously, a documentary series on climate change, premiers on October 30. Since the role of developing countries have now become part of the debate surrounding climate change, a section of the episode revolves around India.
This India section will include a much-talked-about interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In an excerpt from the interview, Modi had said when asked what India’s solar future could be, ”If the world helps me with technology, helps me with resources, I will be the very first person to switch over to clean energy completely.” This was in line with the PM's making India the spearhead of the International Solar Alliance, an international effort to move to renewable energy.
"I was told that if I wanted to see how the US would play a part in India's energy future, I should come here – a coal power plant, erected, believe it or not, right in the middle of Delhi," was how Letterman explained his visit to the power plant in the video.
"I love the movie set apocalyptic on one side of the railroad track," Letterman added. "On the other side of the railway track, this wonderful solar field. This is the problem and how we conquer it."
There's an interview with Richard Verma, the US ambassador to India, who says, "This is now probably the single biggest pathway of our cooperation between US and India." Inderpreet Wadhwa, a solar entrepreneur, explains how a bulk of the technology come from Ohio and Colorado in the United States.
The biggest challenge facing India in meeting targets, according to the US ambassador, is financial: a matter of a mere $100 billion. Letterman sees this tie-up, the difficult financials notwithstanding, as an optimistic sign for the world's energy future.
"When I first got here, I saw nothing but problems," he says. "When you start examining the problems, they all become opportunities, I mean overwhelming opportunities."
However, from the excerpt, it seems that the documentary will ignore the US-India fracas at the WTO, where India's attempt to boost local production of solar panels was thwarted by America. The US's stand was seen as hypocritical, because it was taken while simultaneously attempting to "push a fight against climate change".