Friday, 8 July 2016
Take a deep breath, India, and switch to electric cars
India is going shopping for hydrocarbons.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, faced with the world's fastest growth in oil consumption, has sought deals and alliances in Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to help securesupplies of a commodity that accounts for about a third of India's imports. On Thursday he was in Mozambique, where state-controlled Oil & Natural Gas Corp., or ONGC, has a multi-billion dollar stake in the Rovuma offshore gas field. The sense of urgency is understandable. India will become the world's third-largest auto market by 2020, and it simply doesn't have domestic reserves capable of filling all those tanks. But if Modi takes a look out the front of New Delhi's presidential offices to the distant smudge of the memorial arch at the other end of the city's ceremonial axis, he might ponder whether he's going after the wrong fuel. Modi's capital was the world's most polluted major city , according to a 2014 World Health Organization analysis. While it slipped to a less choking 11th place in the WHO's most recent study this year, half of the world's 40 most polluted cities are still in India, compared with seven in China.