Cutting carbon emissions

Coal fired power plants are the biggest source of manmade CO2 emissions. This makes coal energy the single greatest threat our climate faces. In India up to 40 percent of our current CO2 emissions comes from coal fired power stations.

To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, including widespread drought, flooding and massive population displacement caused by rising sea levels, we need to keep global temperature rise below 2ºC (compared to pre-industrial levels). To do this, global greenhouse gases emission must peak by 2015 and go down to zero from there.

India is the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide after China and the US. Its emissions are expected to have significant growth over the next 20 years or so. Our emissions come from various activities but the largest share is from the electricity sector because of the way we produce most of our electricity today.

Coal based power plants produce 70 percent of our electricity needs and 40 percent of our total carbon dioxide emissions. If we want to play a significant, responsible role in tackling climate change, we must lead the way by reducing our dependence on coal and finding newer, cleaner ways to produce electricity.

Campaign story:

Our coal campaign highlights the impacts of coal in our energy mix, on the people and environment. We have an opportunity to build the energy infrastructure of the future and must seize it.

There is a huge surge in coal mining and the number of coal fired power plants in the guise of meeting electricity demands and development for the country. However coal cannot deliver India’s growth and development aspirations beyond a few years. It is neither a secure nor a sustainable energy option.

In fact it is a risky investment for the industries and the government. The campaign will demonstrate that supply of coal is severely limited by social and economical factors, making it a dead investment in the medium and long term. The campaign will also make the case that going down the coal route will be costly for India’s global image and long term development interests.

Limited coal:

A lot of our coal is found under the few remaining heavily forested areas of our country or where there are a large number of people living. To get to the coal we must either cut down the forests and/or displace large numbers of people from these regions. When people are displaced, they need to be rehabilitated to similar places where they can rebuild their lives. Given that land is not easy to come by we will not be able to provide people replacements for what they are expected to lose.

So while we theoretically have a lot of coal, there are unacceptable things that may be done to actually be able to use it. Therefore, we must stop looking at coal as an option and start by reducing our dependence on it beginning right now.

We will investigate and publicise the true cost of coal and urge people and policy makers to make the right choices.

The latest updates

 

The Peoples Climate March is happening on the 20th of September and here are 10...

Blog entry by Rohini Manohar | September 19, 2014

1) You're tired of paying high electricity bills and STILL don't get electricity 24x7 (common killing mosquitoes is really not as fun as you think it to be). 2) You hate having to ride around with a dupatta on your face looking like...

The Largest Climate March in History is Coming to a City Near You

Blog entry by Pujarini Sen | September 17, 2014

What: The largest public demonstration demanding action on climate change is just 3 days away. When: The People's Climate March will take place on the 21st of September, 2014, just two days before UN Secretary General Ban Ki...

Power from the Sun: A new life for Dharnai, India

Blog entry by Neha Khator and Ruhie Kumar | July 20, 2014

In this world where we seem surrounded by news of gloom and doom, we don't often hear stories of positive change. But here is one: a story of a village that has unshackled itself from darkness, after 30 years of having its energy...

Quality Defines Success in Dharnai

Blog entry by Anand Prabu Pathanjali | July 16, 2014

The success of a microgrid largely depends on the quality of components used right from the generation, transmission and storage. For example, in the microgird installed at Dharnai, we have used a grade A solar panel with the...

Bring in the sun to protect Mahan and India’s forests from coal mining

Blog entry by Abhishek Acharyya | May 30, 2014

It was the last time I saw the sun rise in Budher. When I woke up that day, I just could not control my tears. Next day I was going to be hundreds of miles away in Sonar Bangla from where I would see the sun rise from a train window...

Why the world's biggest coal company has backed down

Blog entry by Deng Ping and Harri Lammi | April 8, 2014

Last year, Greenpeace decided to do something we had never done before during our 13 years of work in China: target and confront a state owned coal company. And not just any company. The biggest and boldest, a Chinese government...

Deforestation: A vicious cocktail for the climate

Blog entry by Dr. Janet Cotter and Sebastian Bock | March 28, 2014

Every few years, thousands of the world's most renowned climate scientists work together as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to present us with the latest scientific assessment of how we are doing in terms...

Comments and suggestions on the DERC proposal on Net Metering and Connectivity with...

Publication | December 17, 2013 at 12:55

This is a letter to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) of New Delhi, India from Greenpeace.

Crisis to Solution - paving way to Solar pumping

Blog entry by Ruhie Kumar | December 12, 2013

The Innovation Challenge was launched on 3rd September, and ended on 15th November. The challenge was different - it invited submissions from all over the world to do something unique, something that could transform the way our...

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