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Advertising is an important medium to change people’s behaviour: Dr R K Pachauri

04-January-2008
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Advertising is an important medium to change people’s behaviour: Dr R K Pachauri

Dr R K Pachauri, Chairman of IPCC and Director-General, Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI), in a special address to advertising and media professionals, organised by the International Advertising Association (IAA), urged advertisers to initiate advertising campaigns and act as change agents in curbing climate changes and global warning.

Pachauri said, “Advertising is an important medium to change people’s behaviour. It can be a powerful agent of change if focussed on information about low carbon products which will dominate global market products tomorrow. It is important for producers of goods and services to realise the effects of these harmful carbon emissions and look at products that can make all the difference.”

Pachauri also talked about the key findings from the IPCC fourth assessment report. He pointed out that as per the report, 11 of the last 12 years ranked among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature. Commenting on the possible aftermaths of global warming, Pachauri said that continued emissions would lead to further warming of 1.8 degree Celsius to 4 degree Celsius in the 21st century.

He further said, “Climate change could lead to some abrupt or irreversible impacts like loss of ice sheets on polar land and extinction of 20-30 per cent of species.” On the global warming impact on Asian countries, Pachauri explained that there could be decrease in crop yields up to 30 per cent in central and South Asia by 2050, scarcity of fresh water, and increase in vector borne diseases, particularly in South Asia.

Commenting on mitigation costs and potential, Pachauri said, “Mitigation efforts over the next two to three decades would have a large impact on opportunities to achieve lower stabilisation levels. There is substantial potential for the mitigation of emissions that could offset the projected growth of global emissions the world over.” He further said that stabilisation levels could be achieved by deployment of a portfolio of technologies that were currently available or expected to be commercialised in coming decades.

Pachauri ended his presentation by giving insightful details on global advertising expenditure for emission control. According to the IPCC report, advertising expenditure was around $454 billion in 2007, which was expected to grow by 6.7 per cent worldwide, and grow by 61 per cent in India by 2010. He stressed on the need for advertisers to step in and disseminate strong messages to curb global warming and climate changes.

Pachauri, who won the Nobel Prize for IPCC, assumed his responsibilities as head of TERI in 1981, first as Director and since April 2001 as Director-General. He took over as Chairman of IPCC from April 20, 2002. Since then he has been active in several international forums dealing with the subject of climate change and its policy dimensions.

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