It was on 10 September 1990 that TERI formally launched its presence in North America by establishing this entity as a not-for-profit organization with 501(c) (3) status for tax exemption. The official launch took place in the presence of a galaxy of distinguished persons including then Senator Al Gore, Senator Charles Percy, Mr Gus Speth (then President of the World Resources Institute), India's Ambassador Dr Abid Hussain and many other distinguished personalities.
The purpose and vision of setting up TERI North America was driven by the belief that energy and environment issues, including climate change, would become important matters for bilateral assessment and cooperation between North America and India. Indeed this expectation has been realized, with the enormous importance that both countries attach currently to the issues of energy security, meeting the challenge of climate change and ensuring environmental quality at the local level. TERI-NA has functioned as an intellectual bridge between the two countries, but it is now poised to take on a larger role and fulfill its mission through a step up in its activities. India has successfully withstood the global economic downturn and is currently growing at 8% per annum with prospects of further acceleration in the very near future. The US economy is undergoing some major changes , which would require closer cooperation with an expanding economy like India, particularly in sectors where technical innovation will determine future growth. The two countries also share common concerns related to global energy security, and TERI-NA can provide a useful intellectual bridge to ensure a flow on analysis and innovative ideas by which this concern can be addressed in collaboration.
It is expected that TERI and its activities would attain a higher level in defining solutions in the field of energy, environment and sustainable development linking North America and India and, therefore, also make a major impact on global efforts in these areas.
Dr R K Pachauri (On Leave)